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story.lead_photo.caption Kevin Kohler

Kevin Kohler left a lasting impression on communities he touched in Central Missouri.

Kohler, the pastor at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, died Saturday due to complications from COVID-19. He was 61. Kohler left behind his wife, Sue, and two children, Tiffani Muessig and Mathew Kohler.

He also left a legacy of caring for communities, Muessig said.

"He said if you live your life loving God and loving people, nothing else really matters that much," she explained.

Kevin Kohler saw needs that needed filling.

"He was very passionate about helping people who can't help themselves," Muessig said.

She said he insisted if you see something that needs doing, you shouldn't wait until someone asks you to do it.

In late March 2019, he created what he called a "Blessing Box" to share food and other items with the needy in the community surrounding his little rural church near Brazito.

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People were also asked to leave what they could or take what they needed.

Contributors left dry food items or canned goods in the box. If anyone needed anything out of the box, they were welcome to it.

Youth from the church placed small Bibles in the box.

The idea was for the community to share food with neighbors. But when Kohler became ill and Sue posted on Facebook that people should contribute to the church and the box, donations for the church arrived from across the country.

Earlier this year, Kohler became the executive director of the Jefferson City Council for Drug Free Youth.

He had been a principal, teacher and coach, and was a facilitator of CDFY training last year. His leadership experience, and experience writing grants made the position a fit, Muessig said.

"My dad couldn't sit still. He was always looking for some way to help people," she said.

He even used his personal Facebook account to help others, she said. When a family needed heat, he posted on the page that he could use a space heater donation. He got six.

People will help, he told her.

And he said, "If you put a need out there, people will meet it."

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