Charlotte Smith Koehler, 75, Annapolis swimmer, pet lover

Charlotte Smith Koehler, an avid swimmer and pet fancier who at one time owned four miniature dachshunds and several cats, died Sunday of a stroke at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis. She was 75.

A native of Hampden in North Baltimore, Mrs. Koehler graduated in 1936 from Mount St. Agnes High School, then an all-girls Catholic school in the Mount Washington community of Northwest Baltimore.


She married William Koehler in 1941, and they moved to Prince George's County in 1946.

She worked at the Kirk Stieff Co. offices near Druid Hill Park after high school. In 1948, she began a 14-year career in the accounting department of American Telephone & Telegraph Co., and later worked at the U.S. Government Printing Office, both in Washington, D.C., before she retired in the mid-1960s. The couple moved to Annapolis in 1968.


Although an accomplished swimmer, Mrs. Koehler joined a beginner's swim class for seniors at Anne Arundel Community College in the mid-1980s and continued to take that same novice class several times a year for the next decade.

"She'd take it over and over and over again," said Charlotte Kerr, her daughter who lives in Anne Arundel County. "I said, 'Ma, you're a slow learner.' "

Mrs. Koehler continued to swim at least three times a week until her death.

Barbara Allen, a member of the 12-person swim group, said the swim classes were therapeutic.

"She enjoyed swimming, but she also enjoyed the social aspect of the class," Mrs. Allen said. "There were many times when we stood at the end of the pool and did more talking than swimming."

Mrs. Koehler loved dogs and cats and kept many running under foot in her home, her daughter said.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. today at Hardesty Funeral Home, 12 Ridgely Ave. in Annapolis.

Other survivors include a brother, James J. Smith of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and three grandchildren. A son, William Bauer Koehler, died earlier.


Contributions may be made to the Annapolis office of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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Pub Date: 4/20/96