Verne E. Kohler, 73

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Verne E. Kohler, 73, 'fell asleep in death' in the early morning hours of May 26, 2008. He was born in Hamilton on Sept. 22, 1934.

Verne is survived by his wife of 49 years, JoAnn; and their four children, Kathleen, Michael, Joseph and Elizabeth. He is also survived by his mother, Alice Kohler, as well as his two brothers, Tony and Ron. Verne was thankful for six grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.

He was predeceased by his father, Tony.

Verne and JoAnn spent most of their life together in Montana, although for a short time during the early years of their marriage they lived in California, where he learned the auto body repair trade. Verne used auto body repair to supplement his growing family's needs while waiting for a full-time position on the railroad. Verne eventually retired from the railroad after nearly 40 years.

Verne Kohler was one of Jehovah's Witnesses. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Valley View congregation in Kalispell. Over the years he had been associated with the Missoula, Helena, Columbia Falls and Whitefish congregations as well. He had a history of privileges associated with his beliefs and was very serious about sharing his faith, as well as caring for the needs of his family and friends.

Verne enjoyed many recreational activities, with a particular love of fly fishing and hunting. He is remembered for many things, among which is the love and affection he showed for his wife, most times referring to her as 'honey' and 'darling.' The friends also knew Verne as a caring and generous person, putting others' interests ahead of his own.

A memorial will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 31, at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 1100 West Valley Drive, in Kalispell. A reception will follow.

Buffalo Hill Funeral Home is caring for the family.

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