Reginald Koehler

Reginald S. "Reg" Koehler III

Thursday, December 29th, 1932 - Friday, July 10th, 2020
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Reginald S. Koehler III (“Reg”) passed away peacefully, surrounded by family in Kennebunkport, Maine on July 10, 2020, after a valiant battle with cancer. Born in Bellevue, PA on December 29, 1932 to Reginald S. Koehler, Jr. and Esther Hawken Koehler, he grew up outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh (1950), Yale University (1956), and from Harvard Law School (1959). Reg also served on the front lines in the U.S. Army in Korea from 1952-1954.
At Yale Reg met Ann Ellsworth Rowland of Greenwich, CT, the love of his life for more than 64 years. Together, they raised three children in Bronxville, NY -- Vicky, Cindy and Robert, who gave them eight grandchildren.
Reg practiced law for 58 years, from 1959 until his retirement in 2017, and became known nationally as a leading expert in the field of Trusts and Estates. He began his career at Davis, Polk & Wardwell in New York City, before joining Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine in 1972 to assume the leadership of its Estates practice. While there Reg was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estates and spoke and wrote frequently on his field of specialization. In 1984 Reg and Ann moved to Seattle, WA where Reg joined the firm of Perkins Coie. During his career he was admitted to bar membership in seven states as well as the US Supreme Court.
Throughout his life, Reg was involved in many community service activities. His greatest commitment was to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, where he served for 17 years on the Board of Trustees. As a lifelong Episcopalian he was also active in parish affairs in the various communities in which he lived, including the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Seattle, and the Vestry of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Kennebunkport, Maine. Reg and Ann also loved to travel, particularly to France, where they cultivated a love of fine wine. Reg was a member of the Chevaliers du Tastevin and the Chaine des Rotisseurs.
Reg is survived by his wife Ann and their children, Victoria Lamarre (Mark Lamarre) of Kennebunkport, ME, Cynthia Koehler (John Bernstein) of Newtonville, MA, and Robert Koehler (Jennifer Koehler) of El Dorado Hills, CA, together with eight grandchildren: Haley Ornitz, Whitney Clark, Caroline Clark, Meredith Clark, Samuel Bernstein, Benjamin Bernstein, Ryan Koehler and Nolan Koehler. He is also survived by his sister, Nancy Hansen, of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Reg’s memory to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Philanthropy, Mail Stop J5-200, Seattle, WA 98109, or to a charity of your choice. A private memorial service will be held at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Kennebunkport, ME.

To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Reg’s Book of Memories Page at

Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    St. Ann's Episcopal Church ~ Columbairum & Reflection Garden
    167 Ocean Avenue
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
A private memorial service will be held at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Kennebunkport, ME.


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Robert Oliger

Posted at 01:26am
My heart goes out to Ann, as Reg and Ann were like family to me and we were neighbors for many years. They helped me through my grieving of my wife's passing from cancer and of that I will never forget the compassion they had. I seemed to always be over at their house fixing one thing or another and it was always a joy for me to get the call and see the relief on their faces when I left. Sometimes I thought they just did things to get me to come over to see them. I miss Reg and our long talks about his life and especially his time in Korean war on the front lines. Early on in his college years the dean of the college told him that he needed to go out and sow his oats and then come back with a fresh attitude. He called his dad about the opportunity to move up in rank by going to the front lines as an observer, which meant he was getting shot at while directing artillery at the enemy. He took the job as it would reduce his time in the war and he could return to focus on his college and pursue Ann, the girl he cared about. He found our she was engaged and when he got back his best friend told him that the engagement had been called off, but Reg not believing him told his best friend that if he was joking that he would get a sock in the nose. The rest is history with Reg and Ann traveling extensively and enjoying life and career. I am reading a diary that Ann wrote, of their 1978 trip to France and it is both hilarious and educating at the same time. I miss Reg dearly and will hold him in my heart always. Ann will never be more than an email or phone call, that is if she isn't engaged in her grand children at the time.

Anne Hubbard

Posted at 11:38am
From Anne Hubbard: over the years in Bronxville I have been wondering where you are, and have been missing your Christmas letters. Now I know that you landed in Kennebunkport, and I send you condolences upon Reg’s death. Tom and I visited Kennebunkport several times in recent years; I wish we had known to look you up. We lost Tom in 2017; I am living quietly in Delray Beach, FL. Our children and grandchildren are all well.

Bruce and Helen Koppe

Posted at 04:35pm
Sadness at the passing of a great friend and great talent. With fond memories of our times with a wonderful couple in France and at home in Seattle where the 3-K dinners were always times to be remembered for the company and not least the selection and sharing of wines by Reg -- a true connoisseur. He will be missed but never forgotten. Bruce and Helen Koppe.

Jody Lemke

Posted at 03:32pm
Bill and I had the honor of worshipping with Reg and Ann during their years at Church of the Ascension in Seattle. Reg truly served his community in all his work and in his many church activities. We all miss him greatly, and we send our love and condolences to Ann and all the family. ~Jody Lemke

Rick Downey

Posted at 12:57pm
I had the pleasure of working with Reg at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center through the planned giving advisory committee. Reg believed strongly in planned giving and his endorsement was critical to laying the foundation for a successful program. He was the program's "guardian angel" and I appreciated it immensely.

Rick Downey

Nancy Marshall Posted at 07:13am

I met Cindy’s father, Mr. Koehler, while we were at Colby together. He was always gracious and kind. He was also immensely proud of his children. I will never forget eating lobsters with the Koehler family in Kennebunkport. My enthusiasm for Maine lobster was notable to Mr. and Mrs. Koehler. I will always have fond memories of my time spent with them at their beautiful home in Maine. My thoughts are with the entire family on their loss.

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