Herbert Kohler funeral, businessman remembered

Loved ones said goodbyes Saturday, Sept. 17 to Herbert Kohler Jr. – a father, friend and successful businessman.

A public procession and private funeral were held Saturday. A former employee who attended the procession told FOX6 News that Kohler was a good man who leaves a long-lasting legacy.

"Everything from arts to, you know, the sports in the community to the schools. He's just been a good man for this community, and it's just not about business. It's about the community, the families that live here and the people that worked for him," said former employee Terry Gottsacker.

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The Kohler Co. executive chairman revolutionized his company, which is known for kitchen and bath products.

In the early 1970s, the company said, Kohler created "THE BOLD LOOK OF KOHLER" that changed the American bathroom and kitchen, transforming what were once utilitarian spaces into statements of design, style, sophistication and craftsmanship.

Herbert Kohler, Jr.

During his 43-year span as CEO, the company said Kohler also transformed the family-owned business into a world leader, with more than 40,000 associates and dozens of manufacturing facilities on six continents.

Kohler died at the age of 83 on Sept. 3. His father was Herbert V. Kohler, Sr., son of Kohler Co. founder John Michael Kohler.

The Kohler Co. Board of Directors announced on Monday, Sept. 12 that President and Chief Executive Officer David Kohler was elected to the additional role of Chair of the Board. He is the fourth generation of Kohler family leadership since the company’s inception in 1873, and only the ninth person to lead the company over the last 149 years.