Michael Frank Koehl1


Michael Frank Koehl, M. D., long the pathologist at Huntsville Memorial Hospital, died December 30, 2018. Born in San Antonio in October, 1939, to Frank Elo and Christine (Hampton) Koehl, he grew up in a close-knit mostly German-Texan family, where he learned Texas history from his great-grandparents, love of trains from his paternal grandfather (an SP railroad man), love of science from his maternal grandfather (an optometrist), and camping, fishing and photography from his parents.
Because of extreme myopia, he was one of the first three people in San Antonio fitted with modern hard contact lenses, which he wore for 58 years until cataract surgery made them unnecessary. As a teen, he worked as a paper boy and (in summer) in home construction. Then he and two friends, aged 15, used their money to drive as far as Yellowstone Park and Los Angeles in a 1946 Chevrolet, camping all the way.
He graduated from Alamo Heights High School, Rice University, and the University of Texas Medical Branch. After interning at Hermann Hospital, Houston, he joined the United States Army Medical Corps, serving at Chitose Base, Hokkaido, Japan. He did his residency in pathology at UTMB and the University of Arkansas Medical Center, and a fellowship in pediatric pathology at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital. He was board-certified in anatomic and clinical pathology.
He married Judy Lou Rowe in 1969, after he returned from working as a Volunteer Physician for Vietnam at Pleiku. They had four sons. With them, he spent many years fishing and working with Boy Scout Troop 98. After he joined Baylor College of Medicines Department of Pathology in 1999, he found time to travel widely. He visited all seven continents, fished on six, rode many famous trains and saw six solar eclipses. He also loved to walk and to bicycle in his neighborhood.
He was a good, quiet man who loved his family deeply, who enjoyed being with and hearing from his friends, who found pathology and the world around him fascinating, and who loved to play with his model trains.
His parents died many years ago. He is survived by his wife, Judy, his four sons and their wives and children, Richard Koehl, Andrea Sankari, and daughters Penelope and Gwendolyn of New York City, Edward and Laura (Konczal) Koehl, and children Benjamin and Josephine of Cleveland, Ohio, Andrew Koehl, Beatrice Lok and daughters Clarice and Daphne of Hong Kong, William and Eleanor (Dickson) Koehl of Baltimore, Maryland, as well as his younger brother, Stephen Koehl, and his uncle, Kenneth Koehl and his wife, Betty, his brothers in law, Richard Rowe III and James E. Cox, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be Wednesday, January 2, 2018 5-7pm at Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home. His memorial service will be Thursday, January 3, 2018 at First United Methodist Church, Huntsville, Texas. Burial will be Friday, January 5, 2018 12:00 noon at Floresville City Cemetery, Floresville, Texas.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 1016 Sam Houston Avenue, Huntsville TX 77320, for their scouting or music programs, to the Josey Foundation, 1300 11th Street, Suite 630, Huntsville TX 77340, for the maintenance of the Josey Scout Lodge, or to the Victoria Fauth Bongard Scholarship (in memory of his great grandmother, an 1888 graduate of SHNI) Sam Houston State University, c/o University Advancement, P. O. Box 2537, Huntsville TX 77341, or to a charity of your choice.
Published on December 31, 2018
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