Bertha & Karl Koehler Scholarship
Bertha and Karl Koehler immigrated to the United States from Hamburg, Germany in 1926. Karl Koehler was educated to become a teacher in Germany. He was a proof reader and retired from the Peerless Chain Company in 1965. He died in 1968. He was an outstanding athlete in Germany and won many awards in soccer and tracker.
Bertha Koehler was a trained seamstress and homemaker. She loved to travel and make people laugh. She died in 1989. They had five children born in Winona: Anne, Wilma, Carl, George, and Gretchen.
Gretchen Koehler graduated from WSU in 1965 with a major in physical education and was the first woman student/athlete to be inducted into the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986. Gretchen played all sports but excelled in tennis with numerous awards and rankings during her playing career. She won collegiate singles tennis titles in 1961 and 1965 and was the 1975 Minnesota State Badminton Champion.
Gretchen first taught school in Davenport, Iowa where she coached synchronized swimming and golf. During the 1967-68 school year, Gretchen was a graduate assistant at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa before becoming a physical education instructor and coach at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota in the fall of 1968. At Gustavus she coached basketball, tennis, softball, and volleyball.
Gretchen finished her advanced degrees: Master of Science and Doctor of Education in physical education at Brigham Young University in 1973 and 1978. She was a Professor in the Health and Exercise Science Department at Gustavus Adolphus College.
She retired from coaching studied integrative medicine during the 1997-98 school year. Gretchen continues to be interested in the history of sport, women in sport, the Olympics, and the mind/body connection in healing. She has authored articles, relaxation tapes, and sport poetry and is an aid antique collector and carpenter. She lives in a home she designed ad helped build in St. Peter.
Scholarship contact is Gretchen.