Sara “Sally” Carlow Kohler, age 90, passed away on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 peacefully in the comfort of her home surrounded by loved ones. She was born in Erie, PA on December 7, 1929, the eldest daughter of the late Sylvester and Sara M. Carlow.
Sally was a graduate of Villa Maria High School and Mercyhurst College, where she was a Carpe Diem Award recipient. Later, while raising five children, Sally earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling through Gannon College. Sally began her long and successful career at the Erie School District as an Elementary Teacher at Harding School. Through the years she served the students through many positions and in many schools within the District. Sally was a teacher, a Guidance Counselor, a Home School Visitor, and retired from the position of Dropout Prevention Coordinator. She touched the lives of countless children.
Sally spent a great deal of time fighting for causes that she believed in, and was actively involved in the Erie community. She was a longtime member of the Republican Party serving as a local Republican Committee Woman, she was the coordinator for the Greater Kahkwa Neighborhood Watch and she served as chairwoman for the Erie County Juvenile Probation and Youth Advisory Board. Of all the causes that Sally fought for, she fought the hardest to protect and preserve Presque Isle State Park. When the state was dumping replacement gravel onto the beaches, Sally led a protest which resulted in the delivery of a finer grade of sand that was a more natural and attractive replacement. She also campaigned for a loading dock to be built near the North Pier so that the replacement sand could be unloaded by boat and trucked directly to the beaches creating a safer and cleaner execution of sand delivery. Sally was an original member of the Presque Isle Advisory Committee. In recognition of her hard work and dedication to Presque Isle State Park, Beach 11 was renamed “Kohler Beach” in her honor.
She was a member of the Erie Yacht Club, the Erie Rotary Club, and St. Patrick’s Church. Sally was an avid reader and loved riding her bicycle around the neighborhood. She enjoyed traveling and made trips to Europe and the Middle East.
Sally is survived by three daughters, Ellen Croft (Joseph) of Raleigh, NC; Natalie Kohler of Erie and Rebecca Johnson (Gary) of Erie and two sons; Vice Admiral Matthew J. Kohler USN (Melanie) of Washington, DC and Michael J. Kohler of Erie. She was the grandmother of 13 and great-grandmother of 6. Sally is further survived by her two sisters, Judith Alstadt and Mary Pat Schlaudecker.
A special thanks to Kim Yurasko, Catherine Pugliese, and “Catherine’s girls” for the wonderful loving care that they all provided. With their help, Sally was able to remain in her home. Additionally, UPMC Hospice was invaluable to help Sally and her family.
Friends are invited to call at the Quinn Funeral Home, West 9th & Liberty St. on Sunday from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM. All CDC guidelines for facemasks and social distancing will be in effect.Private committal services for the family will be Monday at Gate of Heaven Cemetery. You may follow the service on livestream at www.facebook.com/BurtonFuneralHomesAndCrematoryInc at 11:00 AM
In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to Presque Isle Partnership, 301 Peninsula Dr., Erie, PA 16505.
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