David Eugene Kocher, age 83 of Fort Walton Beach, FL passed away at FWB Medical Center on Thursday, July 30th, 2020. David was born on March 17, 1937 in Sedan, Kansas to Frank & Goldie (Yarlett) Kocher.
On October 6, 1981 he married Miae Byun and remained married until his passing. David served in the USAF where he was stationed around the world from Ramstein Air Base, Germany to Takhli Royal Thai AFB, Thailand. He would continue to serve for 30 years until his retirement as a Senior Master Sergeant in 1986. He was recognized by the 96th Civil Engineering Squadron and presented the Squadron’s Award for Excellence as well as numerous other awards and medals including the AF Over Seas Short Tour Ribbon with three oak leaf clusters, AF Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, AF Outstanding Unit Award, AF Good Conduct Medal with six oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, AF Longevity Service Award Ribbon with six oak leaf clusters, AF Overseas Long Tour Ribbon. After retiring from the Air Force David continued to work on various construction and remodeling projects on Eglin AFB including the Eglin Family Campground, a testament to his love of family and the outdoors.
David loved spending time with this family and friends. He enjoyed tending to his gardens and lawn, watching college football on Saturdays, and napping in his chair next to his two dogs Smokey and Snickers. He cherished long road trips to his home state of Kansas to go hunting and fishing with his family. Dave was a simple man that found joy in the simpler things in life such as watching the squirrels, reading the newspaper, and cool Spring mornings picking weeds. David started life as the son of poor farmers in southeastern Kansas but would eventually get more than he could have ever wanted. David worked hard, never complained, and always had a big smile on his face.
David is survived by his wife of 38 years, Miae Kocher; sons, Michael (Elizabeth) Kocher, Jimmy (Heather) Kocher; brother Oliver Kocher; sister Vada Smith; and grandchildren Zoey and Wesley Kocher. He was preceded in death by his father Frank, mother Goldie and sisters Ella Lou Uhls and Lola Taylor, and brothers in law Ronald Uhls, Edward Smith, Thomas Taylor.
Friends may visit the Emerald Coast Funeral Home, 161 Racetrack Road NW on Wednesday, August 5th from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the Memorial Service at 11:00. Interment will follow at Beal Memorial Cemetery at 316 Beal Parkway NW.
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