Clarence J. Koehler / 1937-2009

Published 9:40am Monday, October 12, 2009
Clarence J. Koehler
Clarence J. Koehler

Clarence J. “Clare” Koehler, 71, of Buchanan passed away at his residence on Thursday Oct. 8, 2009, with his family at his side.

A time of visitation will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at Brown Funeral Home in Niles from 5 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church 1340 Sycamore St., in Niles.

Clare was born on Nov. 22, 1937 in Chicago, Ill. to the late Clarence J. Sr. and Rebecca (Ellis) Koehler.

He graduated in Chicago from Leo High School in 1955. Clare attended Loyola University in Chicago and continued throughout his life to attend various colleges to further his quest for knowledge.

He started working as a manager, at a very young age, at Continental Can Company in Chicago, Burns Harbor, Ind. and New Jersey for over 30 years. He worked as a Chemist, Lithographer and manager. He was instrumental in developing several patents within the can and ink design industry. His work ethic and integrity followed him throughout life and in everything he accomplished. In 1988, Clare was recruited out of his early retirement, as a Senior Manager of Special Projects, working in the ink division at ACME Inc, Milwaukee, Wis., because of his expertise in computer color matching system as well as his color theory in management. He was recognized by the International Metal Deco Association as one of the best experts in the world on color theory, application, and measurement on metal.

He was acknowledged as the Tiger Woods of Color Measurement on metal. His work with the Ink Cost Management System that he developed at ACME, is still being used throughout the world by the thousands Clare trained in this groundbreaking system, for the color metal industry.

In late 1970s until 1985, Clare embraced the entrepreneurial spirit as the founder of KOE Video Inc. in Michigan City, Ind. His vision, well ahead of its time, produced Valparaiso University and Notre Dame sports on cable television. He also produced music videos well ahead of MTV, along with numerous other programs and ventures. In 1985, and in keeping with Clare’s generosity, he donated all of the production company to a religious organization. Prior to KOE, Clare ran a successful printing business from his home.

In his spare time, Clare enjoyed boating, sailing and golf. He was president of the Michigan City Humane Society as well as a Cub Scout leader for Pack 358. He considered it a blessing to be part of the Forever Family at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Niles, which enriched and sustained his life. His greatest passion and joy was spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.

On Oct. 12, 1985 Clare married Kathleen Gleason at a ceremony in Michigan City, Ind.
Clare was preceded in death by his parents and a sister Alice Koehler.

He is survived by his wife Kathleen Koehler of Buchanan, four sons; Jeffrey (Genevieve) Koehler of Long Beach, Ind., Donald (Edith) Koehler of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Matthew (Stefanie) Koehler of Middleburg, Fla., Robert (Kim Savage) Mrozek of New Buffalo; two daughters Mary (Scott) Heitmann of Michigan City, Ind. and Trisha (Sean) McCloy of Buchanan; 12 grandchildren (and one on the way) and a brother Clifford Koehler of Marietta, Ga.

Memorial contributions may be made in Clare’s memory to Hospice at Home, Inc 4025 Health Park Lane St. Joseph, MI 49085. or St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – Ladies Aid 1340 Sycamore St., Niles, MI 49120.

Condolences, photos and memories may be shared with the family at

Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home, Niles.

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