Kohles, Donald Michael
November 24,1932 - March 29, 2010
Donald Michael Kohles, born November 24,1932 in Oakland, CA, was the
12th of 14 children born to Marie Freis Kohles and Michael A. Kohles.
Don passed away on March 29, 2010 as a result of a stroke.
As a child, he was bright, fun-loving and outgoing. Though beset with
many health issues, through effort and determination he developed into
a star athlete. In high school, he entered St. Joseph's Seminary where
he excelled as a student and grew as a leader to become Captain of the
Ramblers, an athletic team. After continuing studies at St.
Patrick's Major Seminary, he was ordained a Catholic Priest in 1958.
He served in a number of parishes including St. Elizabeth's in
Milpitas and St. Catherine's in Morgan Hill.
He taught Spanish and was Athletic Director at Marin Catholic High
School between 1959 -69. His friendship continued with many students
after graduation. In 1974 he received his Doctor of Ministry Degree
from Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA. He left the
priesthood in 1978, but he remained strongly connected with parish
ministry throughout the rest of his life, together with his wife
Barbara Heinen whom he married in 1979. He coordinated the Community
Ministry Office of Transfiguration Parish in San Jose and was on the
Founding Board of Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen, San Jose.
He is predeceased by his parents, his brothers and sisters:
Laurence, George, Melvin, Marguerite, Helen, Therese, Louise, Rita and
Kenneth. He is survived by his wife Barbara, his sister Julie (Richard
Cupp) of Moraga, and brothers Francis (Honey) of Moraga, Greg
(Cynthia) of Calistoga, and brother Richard (Jean) of Hayden, ID,
brother-in-law Lee Simpson, nieces, nephews as well as grand nieces
and grand nephews.
Don was devoted to his family, friends, teaching and ministering to
people; he loved everyone-- also cars, tennis and ice cream! He will
be remembered for his warm compassion, kindness and fun loving nature.
Two Celebrations were held:
One at St. Monica’s Church in Moraga, CA, and another at St.Joseph’s Church in Mariposa, CA. Don's family suggested that donations be given to:
Manna House, P O Box 1484, Mariposa, CA 95338 or
Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen 508 Valley Way, Milpitas, CA 95035
Photo credit: From the memorial program celebrating Don's life