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Kerry Mathias Kohring

February 13, 1944 December 3, 2017
Kerry Mathias Kohring
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Obituary for Kerry Mathias Kohring
Kerry Roy Mathias Kohring, age 73, of Providence, Rhode Island, died unexpectedly at home on December 3, 2017.

Born in Saint Louis, Missouri on February 13, 1944, Kerry was the son of Harold Mathias Kohring and Lola Schoppe. He served as an Army medic in Korea from 1968-1969. In January of 1969, he started graduate school at The University of Missouri-Columbia, receiving his Masters in Journalism in 1971. That same year, he married Sandra Jean Kraft in Saint Louis. In March of 1974, they welcomed into the world their son, Mathias Edward Harold. Six months later, Kerry and his family moved to Providence, Rhode Island to take a position as a copy editor for The Providence Journal. In April 1977, they welcomed the arrival of their daughter, Megan Whitlock.

Kerry was an active union member of the Providence Newspaper Guild and a fierce defender of worker’s rights, often traveling to the annual corporate meeting to remind the board of directors how they should be treating their employees. Never shying from confrontation, Kerry marched in picket lines and actively engaged in contract negotiations. Kerry’s 40 years in journalism included stints as a graduate assistant in copy editing at the Columbia Missourian, copy editor at the Columbia Daily Tribune, and finally copy editor at The Providence Journal. He retired in 2010 on September 30th, a span of 36 years to the day. After retirement, he became president of the Retired Members Council of the Providence Newspaper Guild. Kerry also served as Vice President and communications coordinator of the Summit Neighborhood Association. Kerry volunteered at Miriam Hospital as a patient ambassador for the cardiac rehab program, encouraging people based on his own experiences as a patient.

Kerry will forever be remembered as a loving and devoted husband, an attentive and caring father and a genuinely inspirational person. He was a joyous and occasionally mischievous grandfather, and truly relished the title of “Papa”. Kerry was an unyielding optimist and loved to comfort people by saying “all will be well.” He just never told you how long that would take. Kerry was beloved for his listening skills, his ability to see both sides of an argument and his amazing bear hugs. His love of lighthouses is a metaphor for the light he brought into everyone’s life he touched. Our lives are better for having known him. We take comfort from his example, that together, with enough love and the occasional extended hug, all will be well.

Kerry is survived by his wife, Sandy of Providence, Rhode Island, his brother Curtis and his wife Mary Ann of Saint Louis, Missouri, his son, Mathias, his wife Laura and their two children, Lillian and Alexander of Lincoln, Rhode Island, and his daughter Megan and her husband Jeffrey Crane, of Pasadena, California.

Kerry’s body will be cremated and laid to rest in a private ceremony at Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, RI. No public service has been scheduled. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the American Cancer Society or the American Heart Association. Condolences may be left at
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