HORNELL – John Francis Koehler was born July 19, 1967 to Donald and Constance Koehler of Hornell, NY. He passed away unexpectedly and peacefully on Tuesday (Sept. 7, 2021) at his home.
John grew up on Maple Street, attended St. Ann School, and graduated from Hornell High School in 1985. He attended Corning Community College and served in the United States Army, stationed in Germany. He resided in Hornell for most of his life.
John was a gentle and contemplative person, deeply loved by his family. He was the beloved son of Connie Koehler and the late Don Koehler, the cherished brother of his eight siblings, and the proud and devoted father of Andrea Koehler Easterbrook (Tyler Easterbrook) of Bath, NY. He was a communicant of St. Ann’s Church and had a deep religious faith, particularly a devotion to the rosary.
John loved basketball, from playing in Biddy and Sunday School leagues as a boy (and winning a NY state free throw contest) to rooting for the Syracuse Orangemen in March Madness every year. He found many ways to enjoy life’s beauty: taking walks and bike rides on the Z-Y Road to Canisteo, savoring a meal at Paddy’s with his daughter Andrea, sharing a few court skills with his nephews, reminiscing with his siblings about St. Ann School or Moore’s cookies. His sense of humor and observant eye for detail made conversations with him a true pleasure. John was easy to love. His family is heartbroken to lose him. John wrote poems, and a line from one of them offers consolation to his loved ones. He holds on to the memory of a beautiful autumn day “to remind me what’s gone, / but also the beauty I kept.” John had unbelievable courage in facing the challenges that life put in his way. He developed a rich and full self in the crucible of those difficulties. It’s hard to imagine anything more admirable.
John is survived by his mother Connie Koehler of Hornell, NY; his daughter Andrea Easterbrook (Tyler) of Bath, NY; his eight siblings Stephen (Gesele Vallone) of Jamestown, NY; Kathleen (William Miller) of Ann Arbor, MI; Christopher (Lynda Thon) of Hornell; Daniel (Terri Hann) of Hornell; Elizabeth Laplante of Almond, NY; Mary of Ann Arbor, MI; Martha (Rich Blevins) of Greensburg, PA; and Margaret (John Wright) of Westerville, OH; along with 22 nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father Donald Koehler.
A private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the convenience of his family at St. Ann’s Church in Hornell. Committal prayers and interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Town of Fremont.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in John’s honor to Catholic Charities-Steuben, 23 Liberty St., Bath, NY 14810.
The Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc., 285 Main St., Hornell is honored to assist John’s family with the arrangements.
Online condolences or remembrances of John are welcomed on the Facebook page of Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc. or at www.bishopandjohnsonfuneralhome.com.