Anne M. Black Koehler of East Hampton, a maternity nurse at Southampton Hospital for 24 years, died on Nov. 24 at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn of complications following heart surgery. She was 78.
Many people who recognized her from the hospital would stop her on the street or in a store to introduce her to their children whom she had helped deliver, her family said. “People always told us what a special nurse she was to them.”
She was born on July 20, 1934, at Southampton Hospital to James Black and the former Kitty Murphy. She grew up in East Hampton, graduating from East Hampton High School in 1952 before going on to the Mount Vernon School of Nursing, from which she graduated in 1955 as a registered nurse.
In 1957, she married Frank Koehler. The couple lived in Brooklyn until 1970, when they moved back to East Hampton.
Ms. Koehler was a lifelong member of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, where she was a eucharistic minister, served on the parish counsel, and was president of the church’s Sunshine Club. She was also a Birth Rite volunteer and a member of the Red Hat Society, a women’s social club. She was a regular at the East Hampton Town Senior Citizens Center and volunteered at St. Gabriel’s Retreat House on Shelter Island. In years past, she was a member of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary.
“She made a difference in many people’s lives with her love and tremendous faith,” her family wrote. Many people beyond her three daughters called her “Mom,” her family wrote.
As her children grew up and had children of their own, she became a die-hard fan of any sports her grandchildren played, and could be seen on the field in all seasons, no matter the weather. In October, she went to Connecticut just to see her 6-year-old grandson play flag football.
Not only was she quick to travel to see her grandchildren, but she also loved to travel with them and with her many friends. She enjoyed reading and was proud of her Irish heritage.
Her husband died in 1984. She is survived by her daughters, Kathleen Albrecht of Hampton Bays, Suzanne Mayer of Sag Harbor, and JoAnne Koehler-Wood of Madison, Conn. She also leaves four grandchildren, two siblings, Eddie Black of East Hampton and Downey Harwood of North Haven, and many nieces and nephews.
A service was held on Nov. 28 at Most Holy Trinity. Burial followed at the church cemetery on Cedar Street. The family has suggested memorial donations in her name to In Jordan’s Honor, 133 Harbor Watch Court, Sag Harbor 11963, or to Jordan’s Initiative, P.O. Box 2848, Sag Harbor.