Page 2 The Shoreline June 2006
Editors note: The Kocher Family
wants to thank all our friends,
neighbors and residents of Pine
KnollShoresforallthe support, love
and prayers you have generously
given us. It has made our loss
more bearable. May God bless
alt of you.
Tribute to Jay
We lost a good commissioner the other
day. Jay Kocher, commissioner elected just
last November, passed away recently and
we will miss him. We will miss him in the
neighborhood, where he rode his bike and
visited with friends. We will miss him at the
homeowners association where he provided
several years of good leadership until he
resigned after being elected commissioner. We
will miss him on the water, where, as a boater,
he volunteered to do nearly anything and
everything and even talked us into appointing
him volunteer “Canal Keeper” so he could
check out the canal, bulkheading and docks
for safety and needed repairs. We will miss
him at the Public Safety Building where he
was part of the Essential Personnel assigned
to Emergency Operations in times of the big
storms. We will miss him in the office at
Town Hall where he stopped in almost daily
to pick up documents for study before town
This is not meant as a eulogy for Jay Kocher.
It’s more a personal memory about a friend who
has done so much to enhance everyone’s life here
in Pine Knoll Shores. One could easily forget his
many contributions because of his quiet manner.
He used the “I” word very sparingly.
He was bom in Greenwich, Connecticut
on September 21, 1932, the only child of
Fredrick and Mamie Kocher. Most of his life
was spent in the Connecticut area. He attended
Norwalk High School. After two years service
in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he
studied business finance, receiving his B.S.
from Bridgeport University in Bridgeport,
Connecticut. The accepted practice then was
to work and progress up the ladder with one
company. Jay did that for 31 years with the
Southern New England Telephone Company
ending his career as district plant manager
in 1986. At home he was a great fixer, always
busy with some little project. Ironically it was
his daughter, Kim, who would follow along after
daddy always inquiring what he was doing and
how could she help him. His son Bob always
found other outlets for his exuberance. Jay was
a good teacher and role model for his children.
Now his children are grown and married.
They have given Jay and Maureen (Moe) five
Maureen on the other hand came from a large
family. There were eight children in her family.
They quickly absorbed Jay as one of their own
and introduced himtoallthefun and tribulations
of a large family. I often like to know how
people met and how did they find Pine Knoll
Shores. Well Jay met Moe at the company
Christmas party. As a joke she was wearing a
A Good One, Gone
By Joan Lamson
meetings and took the time to chat, just a bit,
with everyone. We will miss him at Board of
Commissioner meetings where he asked good
questions and gave us his studied opinions, and
I will miss him in my office where he often
sat to try to convince me that there might be
a better way to accomplish something...or
another way of looking at an issue.
Jay was an active volunteer for the town long
before he decided to run for commissioner.
It seemed that his feet just knew where he
should be headed and the path led to public
service. We are grateful that we had as much
time with him as we did and grateful, too, for
the standard of leadership he showed in his
interests and in his work.
In our country today, there are a lot of
folks who just don’t care, don’t watch, don’t
understand their local government and just
don’t even vote. There are many who do care,
think they know what’s going on but don’t
By Marge Green
large blond wig. That caught everyone’s eye,
especially Jay’s. So after a few friendly jokes
about the wig they started a friendship. At that
time Moe was living at home taking care of
her parents as well as her brother, who suffered
major trauma in a motorcycle accident. While
juggling her family health care problems she
continued to work at Southern New England
Telephone Company andretired as a supervisor
and commercial manager.
After their retirement in 1986 they moved to
a 45-acre farm in Sharon Springs, New York,
about 45 miles west of Albany. They really
liked their littie farmette where Moe had two
gardens, one for the kitchen herbs and salad
greens and the other for larger veggies like com
and Jay’s favorite, beets. They cooperated with
a neighbor in the raising of a few pigs on the
neighbor’s property. While they enjoyed the
lifestyle there, the winters became a problem.
They were bleak and cold. One day they had a
15 foot snow bank in front of their house and
that really galvanized them to action. They
were going south.
Jay had a love affair with the coast and wanted
to show Maureen some places he had visited
when he was in the service. Maureen liked the
area around Beaufort so they approached a
realtor. The upshot of that was they especially
liked Pine Knoll Shores. They rented the
Ashlands’ house for a year while they looked
around for a place of their own. They found a
fixer upper on Loblolly and the rest is history
but not the end of the story.
We have always respected the early Town
fathers and their foresight in planning the town
and instituting covenants that would protect
take the time to find out the facts, and choose
to snipe. Then there are those who do watch
and listen and who take the time to ask hard
questions of their elected leaders. These people
contribute so much to improving government
because they hold us accountable and cause the
bar to be raised to a higher standard of setting
public policy and ethical governance. And then
there are some who choose to run for office. It
isn’t easy, for most of us, to decide to run for
public office. Among other things, it means
constant scrutiny of one’s words, decisions,
and actions. It means exposing yourself to
the “pot-shots” of grumpy citizens, who are
sometimes right. And sometimes it means
setting aside your personal interests for the
interests of others.
Jay’s path did lead him to an election day
and his personality, style, attitude, hard work
and character caused him to be elected. Yes,
we will miss him.
this lovely area. Nothing alive remains static.
Enter Jay and the many others who have come
here and freely given many hours working to
preserve and enhance those early dreams. Who
do you think would go down to the marinas in
the middle of the night during a hurricane to
make sure all the boats were secured? Who do
you think kept the gates at Brock Basin and
Hall Haven in working order? Who worked
like a beaver to get the CAMA permitting for
our bulkheads in the marinas? Anyone who
has a bulkhead will understand the time that is
required getting a CAMA permit.
While Jay didn’t always do all the work, he
was the instigator who saw the job to the end.
His rapport with the various contractors for
PKA projects saved us a lot of money but took
a lot of his time. He was the Canal Keeper for
the Town of Pine Knoll Shores as well as the
Harbor Master. A funny thing about Jay was
while he was an avid boater and always around
the marinas, he rarely was seen in a bathing suit.
He did not like to get wet except in the shower.
I enjoyed working with him on the PKA Board
where he was always coming up with new ideas
to tweak this or that to make life simpler for
everyone. His last volunteering job was that of
a Town Commissioner. Unfortunately, he did
not have time to leave his mark there.
I did not mean to write so much but with Jay
there is so much to say. I think of him as a tmly
private gentle man who extended a helping
hand to all who came into contact with him.
He was always attentive to another’s view of a
given problem. With him any differences were
never personal. We are all poorer because of his
passing. Jay may you rest in peace.
Editors at Large
3200 Wellons Blvd., New Bern,