Donald G. Kohl, 81, of Olathe, passed away on July 23, 2019 at his home. Visitation will be held Monday, August 5, from 10-11 AM at Penwell-Gabel Cremations, Funerals & Receptions, Olathe, Kan. Funeral Services will follow at 11 AM. Burial will be at 1:30 PM at Leavenworth National Cemetery.
He was born Dec. 11, 1937 to Edgar and Cecilia (Foley) Kohl in Queens, N.Y. Don served 25 years in the United States Air Force with great honor and pride. He earned numerous awards and medals throughout his career, including the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam.
He finished his Air Force career at SAC headquarters in Omaha, retiring in 1980 having achieved the rank of Chief Master Sergeant and earning his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska along the way.
He had a life-long love of learning and continued his education with Webster University, earning a dual Master’s in Business Administration and Management.
He enjoyed a second career with Boeing in Wichita, where he retired in 1993 after 12 years. After his retirement from Boeing, he returned on occasion to consult as a Contract Engineer for the Air Force One program.
On Dec. 16, 1961, Don married the love of his life, Hazel Cockrell, in Wichita Falls, Texas. He and Hazel moved several times with their two children during his time in the Air Force, finally settling in Derby, Kan. when he began his career with Boeing.
Don (also known as Dandy Don or DaChief) had a long and full retirement, enjoying years of travel, golf, charitable activities and treasured time with friends and family.
He was deeply involved in the fight for Kansas State Income Tax equity for military retirees, a fight that was ultimately won in the US Supreme Court.
He was a member of VFW Post 112 in Wichita, American Legion Post 153 in Olathe and was a Charter member of the Council of Chiefs in Wichita.
Don enjoyed many years of camaraderie with his group of retired Chiefs- mentoring Airmen at McConnell AFB, golfing, taking field trips around the state, and supporting several charities.
Don spent the last five years in Olathe, where he moved to be closer to his daughter, son-in-law and grandsons. He was welcomed and loved by many new friends there. Don’s kind heart, generosity and love of God, family and country was evident to all who knew him. He will be so tremendously missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Edgar and Cecilia Kohl, wife, Hazel Kohl, son, George Kohl and brothers, Edgar Kohl and Bruce Kohl.
Don is survived by his daughter, Connie LaRue, son-in-law, Jamie LaRue, and two grandsons, Jeremy LaRue and Josh LaRue.
In lieu of flowers, Don would be honored by donations in his name to any of the following organizations: Make A Wish Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, or Derby Hook-A-Kid on Golf Program - Derby Citizens Recreation Association. To leave a special message for the family, please visit www.PenwellGabelKC.com.