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Woman dies three months after accident

January 19, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Elaine R. Kohler's life and the circumstances of her death were tied to the village where she was born, raised and lived most of her life, according to her son.

"She was a Scotland woman," Alan R. Kohler said of his mother, who died Saturday at the Health South Rehabilitation Hospital in Mechanicsburg, Pa., of complications from injuries she received in an Oct. 15, 2003, vehicle accident in Scotland, Pa.

Kohler, 73, of 202 Apple Blossom Way in Chambersburg, had been in the rehabilitation hospital since late November after being transferred there from Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center, he said.

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Kohler stopped on Main Street in Scotland and pulled into the Pa. 997 intersection when her car was hit by a southbound pickup truck, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

"She was never able to overcome it all," he said of his mother's injuries.

Police said the 17-year-old driver of the pickup truck from Shermansdale, Pa., had minor injuries, as did his 30-year-old passenger from Landisburg, Pa.

After the accident, Elaine Kohler was airlifted to Hershey by Life Lion helicopter from the Scotland playground for which her grandfather donated land and that her father helped build, Kohler said.

"She was kind of a unique individual," Kohler said of his mother, whom he described as "kind of a jack-of-all-trades."

As a young woman, she studied to be a beautician and did her grandmother's hair every Saturday morning for years. She also worked for her father's business, the former H.E. Cook Bus Lines.

"She was probably the best-coifed school bus driver in Franklin County," Kohler said.

She also studied interior decorating, according to her obituary.

"She was a great decorator. Christmas was her season," Kohler said. "Her Christmas trees were artistic masterpieces.

"She was raised at a time when women were housewives," Kohler said, yet she also worked in the office of Dr. Glenn Eyer, now deceased, and raised two children with her husband, architect J. Richard Kohler, now deceased.

"When she was younger, she was even an avid deer hunter and a pretty good shot," he said.

"She was also a deeply spiritual woman," Kohler said.

Kohler said his mother lost a cousin and his wife, Tim and Susan Cook of Chambersburg, in an accident on Dec. 13, 2002. The Chambersburg Area Senior High School cross country coach and his wife died when a drunken driver crossed the median of Interstate 81 and hit their car, according to court records.

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