A COMMUNITY-ORIENTED MAN!
by MATTHEW AMATO
columnist
May 08, 2011 | 2030 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print


Born in the former North Hudson Hospital in Weehawken, William E. Koehler of North Bergen Township, self-employed retiree, has not retired from community activities.

Mr. Koehler, who also responds to the name of “Bill,” graduated in 1964 from North Bergen High School. His was the first class to get through the full high school years of grades 8 through 12 as a newly-created township high school, as well as grades Kindergarten and 1 through 12 for the newly-aligned grade school system in the township. Mr. Koehler entered into the Newark College of Engineering, which is now part of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Technology in 1977.

Now retired from his family business, Bill Koehler told us a fascinating history of the family business. At one time the area was called “The Embroidery Capital of the World,” in Union City and throughout North Hudson County. There still exists an old sign in Union City touting this claim along the highway underpass in Union City near 32nd Street. The family business is called the K-H Machine Works, Inc. in North Bergen and was started in 1918 by his grandfather, Ernest Keller.

The company was created to design and build machinery and manufacture machine parts. They manufactured “special or custom” equipment for the “Schieffle” embroidery machines which once greatly populated the area of North Hudson County, of which today only a fraction is left of the industry here in New Jersey. Today, the industry has gone overseas to the countries of India and Turkey, and in the United States, the industry is in great decline, said Mr. Koehler. Thus, he retired in 2009, to recuperate his personal health, and the family business is now run by his wife and son Jeremiah, in a private industry serviceable manner, leaving Mr. Koehler with his many personal memories of business days gone by.

William “Bill” Koehler’s mother Grace, who will be 93 years old in August, is a resident of New York, and his father William, Sr. is deceased. He has a sister Grace Elsie Crisione who also lives in New York, and another sister Naomi, who is now deceased. He also has a brother Robert who was his business partner and now like him is also a retiree from the family business, and resides in the Town of Secaucus.

Bill Koehler has a lovely wife named Shereelynn, and they have seven children: Jessica, Timothy, Jeremiah, Daniel, Sarah, Benjamin and . All have been “home-schooled” and successful he proudly states, with some completing college, and Jeremiah, Benjamin and Rebecca are still living in North Bergen.

Now that he is retired he has gotten even more attached to community affairs. Mr. Koehler has been a member of the Palisades Emergency Residence Corporation for the past twenty-five years, which is now run by Executive Director Emory Edwards of Union City and Jersey City. He has interests in environmental studies on a conservative-nature level, and that he is pro-life on issues. He is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Disabled American Veterans, has served in the United States Army in 1965 and served in Vietnam from 1967-1968, and was discharged from the Army with the rank of Spec. 5th Class. He is a member delegate to the Board of Directors of the New Jersey District of the Lutheran Church/Missouri Synod, and locally a communicant of the Tumaini Kristo Lutheran Church in Jersey City/Missouri Synod. He also serves as a lay minister for the Lutheran Church/Missouri Synod.

Mr. Koehler is also a trustee of the 154-year old New York Schuetzen Corps at Schuetzen Park in North Bergen and also a trustee of Fritz Reuter Altenheim, and he is also a delegate to the Annual Plattduetsche Volksfest Vereen held every August there. He also tells us that he likes classical and country-western music, and has traveled to the Bahamas.

Mr. Koehler further says that he is a head coach for the New Jersey Home School Association Clay Breakers, which is a trap shooting club for target practice, which is also recognized as an Olympic sport.

On July 26, Mr. Koehler will be celebrating with his lovely wife their 37th wedding anniversary. Beyond that, he just wants to remain active in North Bergen and in his many other civic community duties. To: William “Bill” Koehler— Megan Carricarte of Secaucus has been named to the Dean’s List at Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. Best wishes Ms. Carricarte!

Charles P. Drago of Guttenberg, has been named to the Dean’s List at Western New England College in Massachusetts. Congrats to you Mr. Drago!

Sister Mary Walter Gleeson of Saint Francis Academy in Union City, is celebrating her 70th anniversary in the religious life. Congratulations Sister Gleeson!

Graduates of the Christian Foundations for Ministry Program as announced through Archbishop John J. Myers of the Newark, New Jersey Roman Catholic Archdiocese, from the West New York- Parish of Saint Joseph of the Palisades were Vilma Chavarria, Maria Teresa Cruz, Cecilia Elias, Francisco Franco, Vilma Gallo, Mirtha Gonzalez, Carolina Segovia, Patricia Segovia, and Vicky Valladares. Best wishes to all!

Antonio Miguel of Weehawken, has been named to the Dean’s List at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham, in Madison, New Jersey. Leaders of Tomorrow, make us proud!

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!!! The recent passing away of vibrant Eddy “The Faa” Ford was a sad one for everybody. I first met Eddy in the early 1990s when we both worked for the former Hudson Dispatch, and even though a lot of people who knew the great Hudson County sports writer, I saw a side of him that perhaps others didn’t. The Eddy Ford I knew was a very introspective man, had a open ear for the little guy, and a sympathetic ear for the unfortunate, especially in personal crisis. Aside from the newsroom, outings, sports, etc., I knew him as a church parishioner at Saint Michael’s Church in downtown Jersey City, where he attended mass on Saturday evenings. Always soft-spoken with me, and I could tell that he was very religious. Yes, we all know the story about how a Chinese restaurant waiter mispronounced his last name and tagged him with the “FAA” name ever since. We all know his humor and fierce love of sports. We all knew that he also didn’t suffer political blowhards gladly regarding sports; but did we know the Eddy The Faa, I came to know. I will always cherish our down to earth conversations, I will miss him for being a friend, and I will miss his smile that lit up a room when he saw you, and me. Rest In Peace!!! And so it goes … until next time …see you around town …MATT



Readers who would like to contribute to this column can do so by mailing your news items along with your photographs to Matthew Amato, columnist, c/o The Hudson Reporter, 1400 Washington St., Hoboken, New Jersey 07030.

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