Erick Kohler

October 8, 1930 - January 10, 2017

Erick Kohler, 86, of Santa Maria, passed away January 10, 2017, after several years of living with dementia and Parkinson’s. He is survived by his wife, Judith; children Jennifer Kantorowski (Eric), Eric Kohler (Kelly), and Jason Kohler; and grandchildren Lucas, Chase, Fiona, and Phoebe.


Erick was born in 1930, in Java, Indonesia, known as the Dutch East Indies at the time. He was a prisoner of war twice, first in WWII by the Japanese during their occupation of the island and then by the Indonesians during their struggle for independence. After living in The Netherlands for an extended period of time his family immigrated to the U.S. in 1959.


He and Judith married in Pasadena in 1969 and they lived a comfortable life in Downey for four decades prior to moving to Santa Maria. Erick worked in inventory management for most of his life and was very well liked amongst his peers. His family and his work were his life, and he often put his wife and kids’ interests in front of his own.


A truly patient, charming, and reserved man, Erick drew strength from his childhood experiences during the war and still maintained a caring, fun-loving, and giving spirit toward others. While his quiet and agreeable nature kept him from limelight, he had a voice and passions that ran deep. Those who knew him best and longest could attest to this and his love of photography (a former side job), music, and food.


Erick was his family’s sweet rock, and they appreciated it all and love him so. They are relieved he is at peace now and miss him dearly.