Cover photo for John Walter Kohl's Obituary
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1925 John 2020

John Walter Kohl

May 3, 1925 — February 18, 2020

John Walter Kohl, age 94, of Dallas, Texas, and formerly of Stow and Concord, MA, passed away peacefully on Feb. 18, 2020. John was the devoted husband of the late Deana (Mendenhall) Kohl.

Born in Plymouth, WI, he was the son of Walter and Louise (Klingsporn) Kohl. John served in the US Army in the US and Europe 1943-46. He landed back at Fort Dix, NJ, in August 1945, the day after the first atomic bomb was dropped. Postwar, John attended the University of Wisconsin and graduated in 1950 with a BBA degree in accounting. John's subsequent career was centered around finance, and almost all his jobs involved starting something new. After graduation, he ventured to Syracuse, NY, to work for General Electric, and while in Syracuse, met and later married Deana Mendenhall on Oct. 25, 1958. John's later work with Bull General Electric took the family to Paris, France, 1966-1973. This international adventure planted the seeds for all in the family to have a keen interest in being global citizens.

With three sons in tow, the family returned to the U.S. and settled in Concord, MA, for several contented decades in an idyllic town. From 1973-1987, John served as the manager of the Financial Development Program for Honeywell Information Systems in Waltham, MA, and developed a companywide, high-quality financial training program. During these years, he passionately recruited talented college graduates from around the country, offering them meaningful and lasting careers. In addition to his professional work, John was an outstanding lay leader for the Trinitarian Congregational Church in Concord 1979-1991, serving on the Finance Committee as the chairman and treasurer. He was hailed for his positive impact, unequaled commitment, great foresight, and his significant contributions that would benefit the church for years to come.

After retirement from his career, he invested his time and energy in things that challenged him and helped others. John became a certified financial planner in 1990, and also served on three major committees in Concord between 1989-1995 (Finance, Public Works, Long Range Planning). In his professional and personal endeavors, John was resolute in looking forward and planning for the future. When John and Deana moved to the Faxon Farm 55+ community in Stow, MA, he offered his financial leadership as a trustee and treasurer, urging his neighbors to think decades ahead in terms of fiscal responsibility. A move to Dallas later in life brought his tireless good nature and genuine interest in people to a new state, and John was a favorite in the communities in which he lived.

John is survived by three sons: David and his wife, Kara, of Dallas, Texas; Steven and his wife, Windy, of Hong Kong; and Bruce of Boston. He is survived by three grandchildren: John Marc, Mary Kate, and Matthew.

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