John J. Kocher, 77, of Yardville, passed away Thursday, May 29, 2014, at Merwick Care Center in Plainsboro. John was born in 1936 in New York, N.Y., and lived in Manhattan until 1973, when he moved his young family to Cranbury before settling in Yardville in 1978. John was a United States Army veteran of the Korean War. He retired from the United States Naval Reserve Seabees after more than 40 years of combined service. John served with distinction as Commanding Officer of Naval Squadron 1 of Lakehurst, the United States Sea Cadets, Trenton Division, and the Fort Dix Sea Cadets, and he was a Lieutenant Commander in the New Jersey Navy Militia Joint Command/Navy State Guard. John was Council President and National Director of the Navy League of West Jersey and a Trustee and life member of the Battleship New Jersey Historical Museum Society. He was a life member of the V.F.W. Post 31, the Naval Enlisted Reserves Association, the AMVETS Post #2, the 24th Infantry Division, the American Legion Post # 2, the Navy Lakehurst Historical Society, and the Tin Can Sailors. John also had a long career with the City of New York I.U.O.E. Local #15, retiring in 1991, and he was a member of St. John’s Church in Allentown.
John was the son of the late Alex and Mary Kocher, and brother of the late Alex Kocsis (Johanna). He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 46 years, Rita Kocher; his beloved children Paul and Lori Kocher, of Hightstown; Michael Kocher and Terry Robinson, of Flanders; and Robert and Ellyn Kocher, of Burke, Va.; and his daughter-in-law, Paulette Palmieri, of Hamilton. He is also survived by his grandchildren, whom he adored: Hallie, Julianne, Rachael, Dominic, Danny, Chelsea, and James; and predeceased by a grandson, Michael D. Kocher. He was blessed with many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews and cousins in a large and loving family.
John was an exceptional friend, mentor and leader. He inspired and encouraged so many in his lifetime, setting an example for those around him of embracing life and serving others.
The viewing will take place on Sunday, June 1, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Peppler Funeral Home, 114 S. Main St., Allentown. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10 am on Monday, June 2, at St. John’s Church, 1282 Yardville Rd., Allentown. Interment will follow in the parish cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, P.O. Box 27106, New York, N.Y. 10087-7106, or to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142 Memphis, Tenn. 39101.