Obituary of Joann Kohler
On Sunday, April 30, 2023, Joann Kohler of Asbury, NJ, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family. She was 89.
Arriving just after midnight on Christmas Day, 1933, in Plainfield, NJ, Joann was the sixth and final child born to Susie and Lewis Speakman. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to North Plainfield, where Joann would reside for more than 60 years.
Joann graduated from North Plainfield High School in 1951 and attended The Fashion Institute in New York City. She met and married the love of her life, Don Kohler, in North Plainfield in 1952. They were married in 1953 and spent the next 69 years together.
Over the years Joann enjoyed working part time as a realtor, and also owned a small flower shop in Bridgewater. Additionally, she was a dedicated volunteer. Joann spent countless hours assisting Veterans at the Lyons VA Medical Center in Basking Ridge, as well as chairing the Book Department in her Methodist Church Thrift Shop. She was also an active member of her local chapter of the DAR.
Joann loved taking her children, and then grandchildren on adventures up and down the East Coast of the US. Gettysburg, Lake George, Philadelphia, New York City, Mystic Seaport, the Thousand Islands, Williamsburg are just a few of the places visited. She also loved spending time at their cabin in Cobleskill, upstate New York, where her kids had a blast riding snowmobiles and ATV’s, falling asleep in front of the fireplace and experiencing the “O” house.
Joann loved their Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs and raised numerous litters of puppies at their home in North Plainfield. During her recent illness and subsequent death, her latest dog, Koda, remained faithfully by her side 24/7.
25 years ago, Don and Joann moved to Asbury, NJ, fulfilling a dream to live out in the country. They loved their old -style farmhouse and the many acres it came with, providing unique outdoor experiences for family members and friends.
Though she enjoyed her jobs and volunteer activities, Joann’s greatest joy came from her home and family. She had a unique talent for creating a warm, comfortable and loving home for her family, pets, extended family and friends. For 69 years, every holiday was enjoyed in her home, right up to this past Easter, just four weeks before her death. The Kohler house was always open to anyone who needed or wanted to be there and she loved every minute of it. Her husband, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren brought her the greatest happiness and she adored them all.
Joann is survived by her daughter Kim Dial of Basking Ridge, sons Keven Kohler of Asbury, NJ, Kerry Kohler of Tewksbury, NJ, Kelly Kohler and wife Lynne of Gillette, NJ, Kristofer Kohler and wife Doreen of Allendale, NJ, 11 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren.