St. Mary's remembers Navy Yard shooting victim

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St. Mary's remembers Navy Yard shooting victim

St. Mary's County, MD - 9/17/2013

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By Dick Myers

Frank Kohler. Family submitted photo.
Frank Kohler. Family submitted photo.

Today is a sad day for the students, faculty and staff of King’s Christian Academy in Callaway. The father of two of the school’s graduates was identified as one of the 12 persons shot to death yesterday morning at the Washington Navy Yard. Frank Kohler, 50, of Tall Timbers and his wife Michelle were active in the school community, according to school Administrator Kevin Fry.

This morning the students were notified during their homeroom devotion about Kohler’s death. Many had not heard, Fry said. Kohler’s graduated in the last two years from the school. Fry said pastors and counselors were made available to the students to talk about the tragic occurrence.

Fry said the school community is “devastated” to learn that one individual’s desires could wreck such havoc on so many people. “We trust in God,” Fry said, about the school community’s ability to cope with the situation.

Fry said that Kohler was particularly active during the school’s accreditation process and served on a committee that helped facilitate that.

Kohler was active in the Lexington Park Rotary and will be especially missed at the organization’s upcoming St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival. He was president of the organization in 2005 and was the festival’s King Oyster the following year. Kohler worked for Lockheed Martin during his time as Rotary president.

Merl Evans is the Kohler’s next door neighbor in Tall Timbers. He said the incident has struck literally near to home and he is taking it especially hard. He had just talked to Kohler the day before. Evans, who is a planning commission member, said the family had a tough time of it in recent years, including their house burning down in a gas explosion. They lost everything, but rebuilt, Evans said.

Bob Allen, former Patuxent Partnership president, said on his Facebook page: “My heart goes out to Frank Kohler's wife Michelle, their two girls, Creg his nephew, his family and friends. A very sad day when a life is taken. Frank was killed at the Washington Navy Yard. I have many good memories as Frank and I worked together at Lockheed Martin, we were inRotary Club of Lexington Park, Rotary Club #5892- he was a past president of Rotary Club & King Oyster - he took my job at Oyster Festival in charge of beer stands, a Steeler fan, a golfer, a great family man, a Christian, and a great friend. Frank you will be missed by me and so many!”

Former Patuxent Naval Air Station Executive Director Tim Smith knew Kohler when he worked as a program manager at SIR. “He was a very nice man,” Smith said.

It is not known at this point what Kohler was doing at the Navy Yard yesterday. His LinkedIn page says he is a Senior Systems Engineer at ICON.

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