Ward Lee Koehler, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather passed away on March 22, 2018 at the age of 91. He was preceded in death by his wife and soul mate Kathryn (Kopy) Koehler. He is survived by his children Paul and his wife Julie, Tom and his wife Carol, Christine Servin and her husband Victor, and Bruce and his wife Lee Ann, and grandchildren Matthew and his wife Elisabeth, Sarah, Henry and his wife Clementina, Grant, Victor, Carter, Kristen, Dorothy, Rodrigo, Christian, Lily and Gemma, and great grandchildren, Isabel and Hanson, and brother Robert and wife Jane, and sister-in-law Marian Shortridge.
He proudly served in the U.S. Army in World War II, where he participated in the invasion of the Philippines and was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon with two Bronze Stars, the Philippine Liberation Medal with Bronze Star, Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal and Army of Occupation Medal.
Ward was an alumna of Illinois College, where he was Phi Beta Kappa, and the University of Michigan School of Law. He was an excellent and universally respected attorney. He later served as judge of the 168th District Court and justice on the 8th Court of Appeals. He is the only Republican in the history of El Paso County to be elected to those positions, due in part to the many Democrats who supported his campaigns.
He received many honors, including the El Paso Bar Association’s Outstanding Jurist and Outstanding Senior Lawyer Awards. He also served on the Texas Judicial Council, El Paso Legal Assistance Society and El Paso Bar Association.
He was an avid outdoorsman and was a longtime adult leader in the Boy Scouts (assistant Scout Master, District chairman and Yucca Council Board), where his three sons became Eagle Scouts. He was active in the Republican Party, where he served as El Paso County Chairman and State Executive Committee. He was active in First Presbyterian Church where he served as deacon and elder and numerous community organizations including Rotary, Optimist Club and Sun Carnival Association. In lieu of flowers, donations to Yucca Council of Boy Scouts of America. Funeral service at First Presbyterian Church, 1340 Murchison Dr., 10 a.m., Friday, March 30.