Obituary for Rolf Alfred Koehler, MD.

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Rolf Alfred Koehler, MD., age 95 of Pulaski passed away Sunday, April 30, 2023 at the Carilion New River Valley Medical Center. Born August 20, 1927 in Hanover, Germany he was the son of the late Ernst Frederick & Dore Traenhart Koehler. He was also preceded in death by his sister, Ilse Marie Wald.


Rolf was born in Hannover, Germany. While still at the (Oberrealshule) High School in Worms, Germany at the age of 17 years, he was called in to the service for “Special Flight Training” but fortunately was not called into combat. After the war in 1944 he spent a few weeks in an American POW camp in Austria. He attended Johannes Guttenberg U. of Mainz Faculty of Medicine from 1948-1953 graduating Magna Cum Lauda. Two years were then spent as Civilian Medical Officer at the 7100 U.S. Air Force Hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany. He had an Internship at Hackensack UMC Mountainside 1954-1955. He was Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio 1957-1960.

He started practicing Internal Medicine in The City of Fairfax until his total retirement in 2005. While in Fairfax he was designated Police Physician for the City of Fairfax Police Department, was co-founder and co-owner of Commonwealth Doctors Hospital in Fairfax, was physician for The Fairfax High School Football team, was a member of the Medical Society of Northern Virginia, was President of the Fairfax/Inova Hospital. Outside of medicine he was a member of The Commemorative Airforce and was pilot of a Stinson L-5 and flew many airshows up and down the Atlantic coast.

He was owner of a Schweitzer sailplane and was very proud of the prestigious “Silver C” award from the International Soaring society. He was also pilot and owner of a single engine airplane and an Ultralight which he flew often while staying at his property in the Shenandoah Valley. He was an avid water and snow skier, loved boating, hiking, fishing and hunting in his early years. Later he just fed all the animals. After retirement on beautiful Claytor Lake with his wife Julia “Judy,” his black Lab Kallie and four cats, he volunteered for several years at the Free Clinic in Pulaski, Virginia and cared for an Amish Community in White Gate, Virginia.

Rolf is survived by his


Wife – Julia Ann (Rodgers) Koehler – Pulaski


Children – Ernst Frederick Koehler – (Lake Norman, NC)


Stepchildren – Shawn Patrick Dunlap – (Radford), Dana (Kevin) Dunlap – (Salem), Daniel R. Dunlap PH. D, Blacksburg


Grandchildren – Elizabeth Koehler (Denver, CO), Eric Koehler (Charlotte, NC)


Step Grandchildren – Victoria Dunlap (Danville, CA), Kaela Dunlap (Front Royal, VA), Cole Dunlap (Blacksburg)


Brother – Klaus Koehler – Germany


Sister – Heidi Marie (Helmut) Schafer, PhD – Germany


Brother-in-law – Alfred Wald – Germany


Many nieces and nephews in Germany


Memorial services will be held 2:00 PM – Saturday, May 20,2023 in the Bower Funeral Home-Chapel, Pulaski

The family will receive friends on Saturday one hour prior to service time.


He had been diagnosed with Temporal “Giant Cell” Arteritis and passed away in The New River Valley Medical Center. He will be missed by so many. We request that donations be offered in lieu of flowers to: Angels of Assisi in Roanoke, Virginia, SPCA in Pulaski County, Virginia, the Frederick County Humane Society (1804 Virgil H. Goode Highway, Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151 or St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital.

To sign Rolf’s online guestbook, visit

Bower Funeral Homes, Pulaski is handling the arrangements for the family.