Obituary by Richard Koehler (1939 – 2021) – East Lyme, CT
Richard grew up on Hering Avenue in the Bronx, NY, on the top floor of a three-family house owned by his grandparents, who lived in the same house. He spent his youthful summers in Lake Carmel, NY, where he helped his father build the house they lived in.
He attended the Bronx High School of Science where, upon graduation, he received a scholarship from New York State Regents College. He graduated from City College of New York (CCNY) in 1961 where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Physics. He completed a six month tour of duty in the US Army Reserves before returning to CCNY for a Masters in Physics in 1964. Richard moved to Connecticut in 1964, to begin a long career with the US Naval Underwater Sound Laboratory in New London. , working in the submarine electromagnetic systems department. His work at NUSC for thirty years covered underwater electromagnetic systems across a broad spectrum of frequencies from ELFs to microwaves. Richard’s primary contribution to the Navy was as a NUSC Team Leader and Navy Subject Matter Expert in the development of the Periscope Automatic Steering System (ADF). The ADF was installed on all 688 and Seawolf class submarines.
The most important event of his life occurred in March 1961 when he went on a blind date arranged by a friend and met the love of his life and the companion of his life, Valerie Ann Koepper. They married on June 21, 1964 and moved to Connecticut. Richard and Valérie have been united for 57 years in a loving marriage. Besides his beloved wife Valerie, he is survived by his daughter, Cindy Alvarado; son, Daniel Koehler; and her grandchildren, Andrew, Ryan and Callie; as well as his sister Barbara Koehler; brother William Koehler and his wife Patricia; as well as his brother-in-law Kenneth Koepper and his wife Donna.
Richard was a lifelong reader and was always ready to recommend books on a variety of subjects. No one has escaped its listed recommendations. For the last 20 years of his life he has been doing computer art, exhibiting his non-figurative art in a number of local venues. Much to Valérie’s astonishment, he actually sold a number of these works of art.
Richard has spent his life happily playing a wide variety of sports starting in the Bronx playing with “The Bronx 61 Boys”. He played the usual slap ball, stick ball, punch ball, stoop ball, etc., as well as softball, touch football, baseball and basketball. When he moved to Connecticut, he continued his athletic “career” playing basketball, tennis, racquetball and as a senior playing pickle ball. He joked that in his next reincarnation, he hoped he could figure out quantum mechanics, do some plumbing, and go off with a basketball.
There will be no service. A donation can be made in his memory to Levine and Dixon Hospice House, 11900 Vanstory Dr, Huntersville, NC 28078.
Posted by The Day on November 11, 2021.