Age 80 of Braidwood, Illinois, and formerly of Kokomo, Indiana, Ft. Myers, Florida, Powder Springs, Georgia and Hendersonville, North Carolina, passed away peacefully on Friday, February 12, 2021 at his home.
Born May 15, 1940 on the family farm in Woodford County, Benson, Illinois, Paul David was a son of Paul William and Hazel (Turner) Koehler. He was raised and educated in Benson until the school was built in Roanoke, where he graduated from Roanoke Benson High School with the Class of 1958. David went on to earn his undergraduate in Music from Olivet Nazarene University and his Master’s in Education from Ball State. On June 18, 1961, David married Bonnie Jeanne Leckron in Eureka, and together they made their home and family.
Mr. Koehler taught 17 years in Indiana, beginning his career in education at Sharpsville-Prairie (K-12) in Sharpsville, Indiana. He then moved on to Layfayette Middle School, as well as at Kokomo and Heyworth High Schools as the assistant band director. After relocating to Ft. Myers Florida, Mr. Koehler spent another 20 years in education at Dunbar Middle School and Cypress Lake Middle School from where he retired.
One who kept music at the forefront his entire life, David was an accomplished musician who served as a church organist for over 60 years. At the early age of 13, David began playing the organ at the Nazarene Church in Eureka, Illinois, and throughout the years he shared his talents and treasures with Winamac Nazarene Church in Winamac, Indiana, Bible Baptist in Kokomo, Indiana, McGregor Baptist Church in Ft. Myers, Smyrna Presbyterian Church in Smyrna, Georgia and Covenant Presbyterian Church in Hendersonville, North Carolina. In addition to teaching music, David directed music and gave private lessons. He also oversaw the Kokomo Community Band during his time in Indiana.
In his free time, David took great pleasure in boating and water skiing. He loved to travel, and cherished many summer trips. David was a member of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), and after relocating to Illinois in 2019 to be near family, attended New Covenant Community Church in Joliet.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Bonnie; two children: Brad (Ruby) Koehler of Red Lodge, Montana and Julie (Greg) Machak of Braidwood; one granddaughter, Ashley Koehler; one sister, Ruth Jebe of Minonk, and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Bev Koehler of Benson, Illinois, Millie Koehler of El Paso, Illinois, Betty (Jim) McFall of Seymour, Indiana, Danny (Caroline) Leckron of Ogleville, Indiana, Sue (David) Seabrook of Scipio, Indiana, Tim (Lynn) Leckron of Saluda, North Carolina and Jim (Kim) Leckron of Columbus, Indiana, and numerous nieces and nephews.
David was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers: Robert, Richard and William, and one sister, Mary (Bud) Neavill.
The family will receive friends for a visitation at Baskerville Funeral Home, 700 East Kahler Road in Wilmington on Friday, February 19, 2021 from 9:30 a.m. until the time of funeral service 10:15 a.m. Pastor Bruce Hollister will officiate. Burial will follow in Clayton Cemetery in Benson, Illinois and pallbearers will be: Brad Koehler, Terry Koehler, Rod Schertz, Tom Koehler, Danny Leckron, Joe Leckron and Tim Leckron.
Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in David’s memory to New Covenant Community Church, 1995 Mills Road, Joliet, IL 60433 or to Bennett Creek Church, (to be specified for Fort Shiloh for Boys), 11 Road 8WC, Clark, Wyoming 82435.
Family and friends are encouraged to sign the guest book, upload photographs and share David’s memorial page online through social media by logging onto: www.BaskervilleFuneral.com/obituary/David-Koehler
Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Baskerville Funeral Home in Wilmington. ( 815-476-2181 )