Cover photo for Kenneth J. Koehler's Obituary
Kenneth J. Koehler Profile Photo
1935 Kenneth 2021

Kenneth J. Koehler

July 3, 1935 — September 3, 2021

Kenneth John Koehler of Council Bluffs, formerly of Treynor, went to spend eternity with Jesus on September 3, 2021, following a stroke.

He donated his body to the Nebraska Anatomical Board in Omaha, so it can be used at UNMC or Creighton University for teaching purposes. His Celebration of Life service will be October 1, 2021 at Zion Congregational Church in Treynor with visitation at 12:00 p.m. and service at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials are welcome to Zion Church Reserve Fund, Treynor Fire and Rescue, Treynor Community Foundation with “Vision Treynor” on the check memo, Treynor Optimists for new flags, St. Croix Hospice in Council Bluffs, or a charity of one’s choice.

In addition to his parents, Kenneth is preceded in death by his sister, Betty Rose McChesney.

Ken is survived by his wife of nearly 65 years, Shirley; son, Duane; daughters, Diane Rath, Annette “Nettie” Koehler; and Sheila (Tom) Lewis; 9 grandchildren, Tara (Darin) Copeland, Dan Koehler, Kelly (Dan) Towne, Jessica (Austin) Frain, Austin (Alisha) Rath, Katie (Jordan) Campbell, Steven (Taryn) Maguire, Nicholas Maguire & Madeline Lewis; 16 great-grandchildren, Isabel and Noah Copeland; Perrin Towne; Tracen, Colter, Sawyer and Dawsyn Frain; Henry and Eddy Rath; Dallin, Zoey, Toby and Landry Campbell; and Keaton, Kyler and Karter Maguire.

Ken was born in Falls City, NE to John Koehler and Martha (Class) Koehler. He was raised by 2 great-aunts, Helen and Jennie Wilson and graduated with the Class of 1953. He went to Omaha and took employment with Union Pacific Railroad, then went into the U.S. Army for 2 years, and because he had taken shorthand and typing in high school, he was selected to be a secretary to several Generals at SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) Headquarters in Versailles, France, his second year of duty, before returning to UPRR for another 34 years. The family lived in Omaha and Ken attended UNO all at night school, receiving his business degree in 1972. He wanted to raise his family in a smaller community, so they moved to Treynor, IA in December 1972, where he later was elected Mayor on a write-in ballot and served four 4-year terms. Ken retired from UPRR in 1989 and he then spent 25 years volunteering for the American Red Cross going wherever disasters occurred – to over 40 of them all over the U.S. and Puerto Rico. He was trained to do Mass Care, Family Service and Records and Reports. He was in New York City for two 3-week stays after 9/11; the first one over Thanksgiving and the second one over New Year’s Eve. He also volunteered helping people start their own businesses in a group called SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) for several years. He was a member of Zion Congregational Church and the Lamar Hartjie American Legion Post 725 where he served as Adjutant for several years. Ken and Shirley had moved to a garden home at Risen Son Christian Village in March of this year. Thanks be to God for a wonderful life lived as His servant.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, October 1, 2021

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life Service

Friday, October 1, 2021

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

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