Cover photo for Harriet Koehler's Obituary
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1927 Harriet 2014

Harriet Koehler

June 7, 1927 — October 1, 2014

Harriet Ann (Tousignant) Koehler, age 87 of Westfield, formerly of Fort Atkinson, was reunited in eternal peace with her husband Ralph and daughter Kathleen, on October 1st 2014. Harriet was born on June 7th 1927 in Gwinn Michigan, the 13th of 14 children born to Wilfred Francis Tousignant & Mary Elizabeth Trottier. Harriet lived a full life in her 87 years. She graduated at the age of 16 from Gwinn MI School System. She then moved to Washington DC to work for the Bureau of Navel Personnel. In 1945 she met her brother Paul’s friend, a fellow Marine,Ralph Irvin Koehler. They married in 1949 in Gwinn MI. Together, they raised eleven children: Mary Gould (Earl), Daniel Koehler (Suzanne), Kathleen Koehler 1953-1966, Joseph Koehler (Wendy), Jean Plue (M. Scott),Susan Pope (Donald), William Koehler (Colene), Jerome Koehler (Pia), Theresa Bush (Gregory), Andrew Koehler (Sally) & James Koehler (Lisa). Harriet was a busy mother. She sewed many clothes & full holiday outfits for her children. She made stuffed bears, pajamas, robes, and an embroidered Baptismal gown which most of her children & many grand and great grandchildren have worn. In 1980, Harriet’s husband Ralph passed away suddenly, leaving her with 3 teenagers still at home. She worked a few years in Fort Atkinson before she made a life-changing decision to move to the Westfield WI area and build a log home on 42 acres that she and Ralph had planned on retiring to. Harriet worked at the Westfield Public Library for many years. Harriet was an avid bibliophile who loved to read and she passed that love to many of her children. She was also very well known for her handmade craft items which included denim patch quilts, candles, maple syrup, homemade bread & cloth shopping bags. She also built a small chapel in the woods near her cabin, which she used for prayer & meditation. Harriet was adamantly anti-war & a deeply faithful Catholic. She was also very accepting of all faiths. She did not just attend church services, she took the Holy Spirit as her guide & guardian. In 2006 she endured a difficult stroke “gracefully”, in silence & dignity. Following that, she moved into the Harris Villa Assisted Living Home, Westfield WI where she comfortably resided until her death. Harriet will be missed for her colorful storytelling & her love of laughter. She enjoyed a bit of Korbel brandy daily. She lived to share nature with children & adults who visited her cabin & surrounding woods. Only now, as she enjoys the Heavens above and the family and friends who have passed before her, will she find the answers to so many of life’s intriguing questions and know for sure what her purpose for living was. Harriet is survived by her sister, Jane Zimmerman, Newbury Park, CA; her brother, Peter Tousignant, Negaunee, MI and ten of her eleven children. She also leaves behind many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and wonderful close friends from throughout her lifetime.

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial for Harriet will be held on Friday, October 3, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Westfield with Father Tim Renz and Father Alan Hunter officiating. A luncheon will be held following mass at the church. A memorial visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. until the hour of mass. Inurnment will be in Fort Atkinson at a later date in St. Joseph’s Cemetery. Memorials would be appreciated to Harris Villa, N6581 Villa Parkway, Westfield, WI 53964

Please take a moment to view the online guestbook. Send your condolences or share a memory of Harriet with her family & friends.

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