Tommas Joel Koehler

February 05, 2011
  • Koehler

APRIL 26, 1940-FEB. 3, 2011

Tom was born to Harry L. Koehler and Florence R. Baker Koehler in Terre Haute, Ind., on April 26, 1940.

His family moved to Kingsport, Tenn., in 1951, where Tom graduated from Dobyns Bennett High School. He received a bachelor of science degree in history from East Tennessee State University in 1962 and completed graduate level work in history at East Tennessee State University in the late 1970s.

Circa 1964, Tom moved to Washington, D.C., to pursue a career in government. He worked for the National Institutes of Health, where he was instrumental in creating and directing the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Information.

In 1979, Tom relocated to Rockville, Md., and was appointed Director of Systems Development, Montgomery County Public Schools. He managed major development of information systems for the county and the transfer of MCPS information to databases and introduced state-of-the-art technology, software and hardware to offices and schools.

He retired in 1995 and returned to Jonesborough, Tenn., to live near his immediate family. Due to failing health, he moved back to Maryland in 2010 to be close to his daughter, Lora.

Tom was preceded in death by his father in 1945, his mother in 2007, and his son, Tommas August Koehler, in 2009.

He is survived by his daughter, Lora Catherine Koehler, who teaches at North Hagerstown High School and lives in Frederick, Md. Other survivors include sister, Sonya J. Stacy and half brother, Richard B. Ross, of Jonesborough and Palm Harbor, Fla.; one nephew, Ned E. Stacy, who lives in Palm Harbor with his family; and Anne Koehler, former wife and mother of deceased son, Tommas, Johnson City, Tenn.; Anna Ossler, former wife and mother of Lora, resides in Easton, Md. She and Tom remained friends, and she was with Lora and Tom at the time of his peaceful passing.

Tommas Joel Koehler was an avid hunter, fisherman, author, artist and collector of antiques throughout his life. He possessed an exceptional mind, extraordinary memory, diverse interests and talents and a wry wit that impressed, entertained and inspired family members, friends and co-workers.

A celebration of Tom's life will be held Saturday, April 16, 2011, from noon to 2 p.m. at Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, Md.

Donations may be made to Washington County-Jonesborough Library, ATTN: Dorothy Linton, 200 Sabin Drive, Jonesborough, TN 37659, phone 423-753-1800.

Arrangements were made by J.L. Davis Funeral Home, 12525 Bradbury Ave., Smithsburg, MD 21783, phone 301-791-1230.

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