10254 W. Carlton Bay | Garden City, ID 83714

Benjamin Francis Kohler May 21, 1935 - March 8, 2023

Ben was born May 21, 1935 and passed away on March 6, 2023 after many years of dealing with Parkinsons.  He spent his early years in Couer d’Alene and graduated from Couer d’Alene High School in 1953.  He married Nancy Brevick and to this union three children were born; Jamie, Kim, and Kelly.  He and Nancy later divorced.  Ben moved to Boise, Idaho in 1967.  He and Barbara VanDegrift were married June 26, 1970.  This June would have been their 53rd wedding anniversary.

Over the years Ben was active in several civic organizations.  He was president of the Couer d’Alene Jaycees in 1963-1964.  He was president of the Idaho Jaycees in 1966 and was awarded his JCI senatorship in 1971.  Ben was also involved in a number of professional organizations; ASHRAE, CSI, and elected president of sheet metal contractors in 1984-1986 and again in 2000-2001.  He was also a member of the Sunrise Rotary, and American Society of Professional Estimators.

Ben went to work for Marcum Sheet Metal in 1970 and continued at YMC Inc.  He retired in 2015 after 45 years.  Many lasting friendships were formed over the years.  When he retired, YMC gave him a vacation to Hawaii.  It was such a great way to end his career and greatly appreciated by Ben and Barbara.

Ben loved his Great Danes, his 1930 Model A, and his very green 1970 Jeepster Comando.  He and Barbara enjoyed going on outings with the Model A club.  They also enjoyed their numerous trips to Hawaii.

Ben loved fishing with his sons, grandsons, and his brother-in-law Don Johnson.  All activities he enjoyed until he could no longer participate because of poor health.

He is survived by his three children, seven grandchildren, four great grandchildren, and his wife of 52 years, Barbara.

He lived at Garnet Place Assisted Living for a little over two years.  We want to thank the staff for their excellent care and support.


  1. REPLY
    Ben & Kathy Rietze says

    So sorry to hear about Ben! We met and became good friends with Ben and Barbara through the Jaycees. We send our warm thoughts to you Barbara and we thank you and Ben for the many fun times we had together over the years!!

  2. REPLY
    YMC, Inc says

    Our deepest condolences. Ben was a very respected and valued employee at YMC and a great friend to many of us here. He will most definitely be missed.

  3. REPLY
    Jim & Marianne Brandt says

    We have enjoyed Ben and Barbara for many years in the Jaycees through service and the fun socials and camp outs we had. Ben was a hard worker and good man with a very kind demeanor. He will be missed.

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