Dwight H. Kocher
ETC (SS) Retired Dwight Haven “Bear” Kocher, 58, of Frederick County, Virginia, passed peacefully at his home after a courageous battle with cancer, on July 21, 2013.
He married the love of his life, Mary Sue Frye, on June 25, 1983, in Norwich, Connecticut. On June 25, 2011, they were married before the Lord at Dormition of The Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church.
Dwight was born on June 17, 1955 in Tampa, Florida, the son of the late J. Blake and Elizabeth Kocher. He was a graduate of Leto High School in Tampa and the University of Illinois, Carbondale, with a Bachelor’s of Education. He previously worked for Gryphon Technologies becoming disabled in May 2013.
ETC (SS) Dwight H. Kocher reported for active duty in the United States Navy on November 18, 1977. After completing basic training at Recruit Training Center (RTC) Orlando, FL, he attended Basic Electricity and ElectronicsSchool with further assignment to ElectronicsTechnician“A”School at Service School Command (SSC) Great Lakes, IL. Upon completion of “A”School, he volunteered for submarine duty and attended BasicEnlistedSubmarineSchool at Naval Submarine Base New London. Chief Kocher then attended and completed MK2 Mod 1 Inertial Navigation System “C” School. In May 1978, he reported for sea duty in USS DACE (SSN 607), home ported in Groton, CT. During his 3½ years in DACE, the ship completed a 2-year overhaul at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, ORSE inspections, pre-overseas movement workups, Tactical Readiness Examinations, and numerous local OPS.
Chief Kocher reported for instructor duty at Naval Submarine School in January 1983. Following completion of instructor school, he taught WSN-1 Dual Mini SINS and WSN-3 ESGN classes. He detached from sub school in December 1985 and reported for duty in USS TINOSA (SSN 606). Following completion of a Mediterranean deployment in October 1986, Chief Kocher left active duty in February 1987.
ETC(SS) Kocher affiliated with the Naval Reserve on December 30, 1987 and was assigned to NR L.Y. Spear (AS-36) at Naval Reserve Center Baltimore, MD. In April 1989, he reported for duty with NR Beach Group Two Det 206. In April 1995, he reported for duty with NR CINCIBERLANT Det 106. In October 2000, Chief Kocher reported for duty with NR COMSUBLANT BGS 306. He retired effective January 1, 2003.
ETC(SS) Kocher has earned the following awards: The Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star, the Battle “E” ribbon, Good Conduct Medal with 1 star, the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal with 2 stars, the Navy Expeditionary Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with bronze star, the Expert Rifleman Medal, and the Expert Pistol Shot Medal.
Predeceased by his maternal and paternal grandparents.
Surviving with his wife are two sons, Charles Gabriel and Chad Garrett, both of Ocala Florida; one granddaughter, Taylor Elizabeth; his sisters Suzanne Jessamyn and Joanne Karpay, both of Tampa, Florida. “Brother”-in-law John C. Frye and his wife Liz, “Brother”-in-law Wayne A. Frye and his wife Amy, sister-in-law Lisa and husband Tom. He was very proud of his godson Nathan N. Frye and shared joy in his life with Matthew D. and Adam W. Frye. Also surviving are a niece, nephews, cousins and many friends. He loved his Aunt Ruth, Aunt Shirley, the “Georgia Gang” and Louise. A special thank you to Uncle Don and Aunt Mary for all your love and prayers.
Mr. Kocher was a member of the Dormition of The Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church and served on its board for 4 years and other volunteer work as needed.
Dwight loved music, deep sea fishing with his sons, traveling and history.
The family will receive friends on Friday July 26, 2013; 2:00p.m. – 4:00p.m. and 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., at Omps Funeral Home, Amherst Chapel.
A funeral service will be conducted at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, 2013, at the Dormition of The Virgin Mary Orthodox Church, Winchester, Virginia with Father Stanley Voyiazlakis officiating. Interment will be at 1:00 p.m. Monday, July 29, 2013 in Bath National Cemetery, in Bath, New York.
Pallbearers will be, John C. Frye, Wayne A. Frye, Charles Gabriel, Chad Garrett, Matthew D. Frye, Nathan N. Frye, Adam W. Frye, and Chriss Poulos.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Dormition of The Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church, 1700 Amherst Street, Winchester, Virginia, 22601. Flowers sent to Omps Funeral Home, Amherst Chapel.