Amy Lynne Kohler
Amy Lynne Kohler
  • August 31, 1950 - October 13, 2017
  • Annapolis, Maryland

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Amy Lynne (Ketzel) Kohler 1950-2017: It was August 31, 1950, a warm sunny day in New Castle, PA when Ruth Ketzel presented her Husband, Jack, with a beautiful baby girl. They named her Amy Lynne.

Shortly afterward the Ketzel’s moved into a house next door to Jameson Hospital, where Amy was born and where Ruth was a registered nurse. Amy grew up happy and healthy, attending New Castle High. There she indulged her love of music, playing the flute in the “Hurricane” marching band, and in the concert band. After high school, she continued to play the flute in community orchestras wherever she had the chance. Influenced by her mother, Amy attended West Penn Hospital School of Nursing in Pittsburgh, earning her RN diploma in 1971. There she made many close, lifelong friends who have remained in contact, sharing stories, family’s events, and adventures for the next 46 years. After graduation, she worked at Cedar Rapids amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. Working independently gave her confidence in her skills as a nurse.

Again, influenced by the patriotism of her parents, both WWII veterans, (her mother Ruth was an army nurse and shipped out to the Pacific, and her father served in the army as a medic in the European theater). Amy attended Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport Rhode Island and was commissioned an Ensign in the Navy Nurse Corps.

Her first duty station was the Naval Hospital in Long Beach California. There her skill, bubbly personality, and bewitching smile led her to being asked to escort President Nixon during his tour of the hospital. More importantly she cared for Vietnamese orphans evacuated to the U.S. During Operation Baby Lift, and helped treat sailors and marines returning from Vietnam. It would have been a classic love story if she had met, fell in love with and married one of those sailors. However, that is not exactly what happened. Instead, a young officer, she cared for introduced her to his roommate Gene “Skip”, whose heart she stole. After a courtship rendered lengthy by another pacific deployment, Skip married this pretty nurse in her hometown on July 19, 1975. Always the perfect navy wife she resigned her active commission, accepted a reserve commission and they moved to San Diego. When not enjoying the sun and sand of Southern California Amy worked at NASSCO shipyard as the clinic nurse, and then at the La Jolla VA Hospital. Three years later they packed up and moved to Pittsburgh, while her sailor went back to school. There she worked at the VA Hospital and seeing an opening she seized the opportunity to become an operating room nurse. Amy gave Skip a handsome baby boy just days before they transferred back to San Diego where sons Andrew and Jonathan were born, after six years they received orders to another hardship duty station, Oahu, Hawaii, this time with the Marine Corps. Hawaii was like paradise for Amy. She spent several years exploring and enjoying the islands until Skip was deployed to Desert Storm and Amy, now a LCDR was recalled to active duty and reported to Tripler Army Medical Center. After deactivation and deep reflection, Amy once more put her children ahead of her career and resigned her commission.

In 1992 they left the islands and moved to Naval Hospital, Oakland. After two years, the hospital was selected for closure as part of “BRAC” and Amy and her family were prematurely transferred across the country to Navy Medical Center Portsmouth, VA. She enrolled at Old Dominion University where she was awarded her BSN degree, graduating SUMA CUM LAUDE with her proud husband and children watching.

After a short two years in Virginia, She was delighted when her husband was posted to the US Naval Academy. They bought their forever house, her husband retired from the Navy and they continued to live and raise their family in Annapolis. Amy was able to continue the career she put on hold to raise her children. Amy gave tours of the Naval Academy, worked as a school nurse, then in the operating room at St. Agnes Hospital and for over 10 years at Anne Arundel Medical Center until she retired.

Amy Loved music, concerts, traveling, gardening and collecting figurines and fine china. Later in life she was proud of running a popular and successful vacation rental in San Diego. She took up knitting to make baby blankets for her grandchildren. She was deeply patriotic. Her military service and the sacrifices she made as a navy spouse and mother brought her and her family great pride. She was a devoted christian and her faith brought her much solace and comfort during the last few years. She loved nursing, her friends and her patients, and this earned her their love and respect.

Most of all, she loved her children. She traveled hundreds of miles and spent countless hours cheering them on as they played lacrosse, soccer or wrestled, rejoicing with their wins, consoling them on their losses. She was the consummate sports mom. She had a vision for her family. While not always easy she encouraged and pushed them to be the best they could be and they are better, stronger, more successful men because of her. They are most proud of the accomplishments she encouraged. She was proud that all three became Eagle Scouts with a strong sense of duty, honor and country. She was the glue that held her family together.

Amy passed peacefully at home in Annapolis early in the morning of October 13, 2017 with her husband by her side.

Amy many times sent her men off on deployments, and was loyally waiting when they returned. Now they stand by as the lines are cast off and she crosses the bar on her final deployment.

She is survived by her husband of 42 years, Gene “Skip”; her three sons, Michael (Gabrielle); Andrew (Jeannine) and Jonathan (Hailey); her three grandchildren, Lucas, Logan and Haddie Grace; her mother Ruth, and her brother Wallace (Jean). She will be met in