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Donald Lee Kahler

Birth Date: January 29, 1945
Death Date: November 22, 2017

Decatur-Donald Lee Kahler, 72, of Decatur, passed away Wednesday, November 22, 2017 in his home with his family by his side.

Don was born January 29, 1945 in Decatur, Illinois, the youngest son of Arthur Elmer and Lovilla Jane (Poe) Kahler. He attended Decatur schools including, Ullrich, Centennial, and Stephen Decatur. In 1962 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy following in the footsteps of his father and all of his brothers. Don served six years working in Naval Intelligence as an intercept operator, analyst, and Spanish linguist. He then worked for the city of Decatur as a patrolman before moving to Miami and beginning his career as a police detective, working in the Organized Crime Bureau of the Dade County Sheriff’s Office. While there he earned his B.S. degree in Criminal Justice. Don later taught classes at Biscayne College in Miami. He returned to Douglas County, Illinois in 1976. Living on a farm near Newman, he began a career with USPS working many different positions until retiring as Postmaster in Brocton, Illinois. Don was a forty-seven year member of the American Legion, thirty year member of the Masons, past member for twenty years of the Ansar Shrine in Springfield, and a member of the Scottish Rite of Danville as a 32nd degree mason. He had many interests and passions. Some of which were hunting, fishing, and anything in the outdoors, bird watching, woodworking, collecting, and restoring World War II jeeps. What he loved most though was Janis, his children, and grandchildren. Don had many dear and cherished friends across the entire country. He was a patriot and loved his country.

Don married Princess Lorna Taylor in 1967. From this marriage he had one son Danny Brian Kahler of Knoxville, Tennessee. In 1974 he married Janis Kay (Finch) Eller. From this union he was blessed with four stepchildren, Richard Allen Eller and wife Siran of Decatur, Timothy Joe Eller of Decatur, Gina Marie Bowman Gensler and husband John of Decatur, and Vicki Lou Sy of Decatur.

Don is survived by his wife Janis, children, twelve grandchildren, seventeen great-grandchildren, one sister Delores Webner of Findlay, and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, daughter Pamela Diane, brothers Rennard “Buddy” Kahler, Arthur Leon Kahler, and William Wallace Kahler, and one sister Charlotte Hauck.

A memorial gathering to celebrate Don’s life will be held at a later date in Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home with military honors conducted by the Macon County Honor Guard. Memorials are suggested to the Cancer Care Specialist of Central Illinois.

The family of Donald Lee Kahler is being served by the Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home, 2091 N. Oakland Ave. Decatur, IL. Please view the online obituary, send condolences, and share memories at

Video Tribute for Donald Lee Kahler:

Arrangements Pending
November 22, 2017
Graceland / Fairlawn Funeral Home
2091 N. Oakland Avenue Decatur, IL 62526
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  1. He was a very special man!! We got to know him well when he and Jan lived in Newman. Jan worked at the bank with my husband, Carl. Loved both of them, and send my sympathy to Jan and all of the family. Love, Rita Collins

  2. Gary Kingery


    I called today to see if I could stop and visit you tomorrow and talk over old times. I didn’t know you were sick nor that you passed away. We were best pals from1955 until we both went into the military in 1962. I was in for 3 years, You for six. We could write a book on the crazy adventures we had together. We were like brothers. But I could never get you to parachute nor me on a boat. I didn’t get to see you as much as I wanted, but you were always a part of my character. I’ll miss you buddy.

    Prayers for you and Jan

  3. Jan,
    So sorry to here about Donnie, he and my friend Myrna were all good friends in Jr High.It had been so long since I had seen him again until our 50th. It just seemed like a good friend came back into my life and he was gone. Will be think about you and the family. Be brave god is with you.
    Karen Morton Dunaway

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