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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