Dennis Koehler: 1941-2011by George Bennett | April 25th, 2011
Mr. Koehler, 69, passed away Sunday night at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Riviera Beach.
Mr. Koehler grew up in Wisconsin, a promising baseball player whose father was a Lutheran minister. He served two tours of duty as an Army intelligence officer in Vietnam. Discharged in 1969, he obtained a law degree and became active in the Vietnam Veterans of America. In the 1970s, Mr. Koehler was hired as Palm Beach County’s environmental control officer and became part of a group of influential young officials known as the “Kiddie Car Gang.”
Mr. Koehler, a Democrat, was elected to the county commission in 1976 and left office in 1984 to pursue an unsuccessful campaign for Congress. He was succeeded on the commission by his former aide, Karen Marcus, who remains in the seat today. After leaving the commission, Mr. Koehler remained in the public eye as a lawyer, veterans advocate and member of a variety of county advisory boards and commissions.
Our Carlos Frias memorably profiled Koehler’s fight with cancer last fall.
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