Navy Yard Shooting Victims Had Long Careers There

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Allen said Kohler, a graduate of Pennsylvania’s Slippery Rock College, was a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and an avid, though not overly skilled, golfer.

“He could probably shoot in the low 90s,” Allen said in a telephone interview Tuesday from Bradenton, Fla. When Allen retired, Kohler picked his gift — a gold pocket watch with the inscription, “From your friends in Lockheed Martin to help you putt into the future.”

Kohler lived on the water with his wife, Michelle, an employee at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Allen said his friend loved to boat and fish, and went on frequent hunting trips to Canada.

“A great family man, a Christian, and a great friend,” he said. “It just doesn’t seem possible. I mean, you hear about these things all the time … But when you know somebody, it just makes it all the worse … It’s a Huge loss for southern Maryland.”

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Marine engineer and naval architect Vishnu Pandit, 61, preferred the nickname Kisan, the Hindi word for “peasant.” It suited the hard-working Indian immigrant, known for his devotion to family, community and his 30-year civilian Navy career.

“He was very dedicated to improving the performance of naval ships and systems,” longtime friend M. Nuns Jain said Tuesday outside the North Potomac home where Pandit’s family privately mourned. “The only saving grace in this horrible incident is that he died doing what he loved the most in the service of his nation.”

Jain said Pandit, a Mumbai native, earned a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering in India in 1973 before coming to America and receiving a degree in naval architecture from the University of Michigan.

He said Pandit sailed with the U.S. Merchant Marine before joining the Naval Sea Systems Command, headquartered at the Washington Navy Yard.

Married to his wife Anjali since 1978, Pandit had two sons and a granddaughter, Jain said.

“He was a real family man and he loved dogs,” including the family’s golden retriever, Bailey, Jain said.

Neighbor Satish Misra said Pandit was on the home owners association board in their leafy subdivision, and active in the local Hare Krishna Hindu temple.

“He was a gentle man. I really loved him and his family,” Misra said.

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Kenneth Proctor, 46, worked as a civilian utilities foreman at the Navy Yard, his ex-wife, Evelyn Proctor, said. He spent 22 years working for the federal government, Evelyn Proctor said.

The Waldorf, Md., woman spoke to Kenneth early Monday morning before he left for work at the Navy Yard. It was his regular call. The high school sweethearts talked every day, even after they divorced this year after 19 years of marriage, and they shared custody of their two teenage sons.

She was in shock about her ex-husband’s death.

“He just went in there in the morning for breakfast,” Proctor said Monday night of the building where the shooting took place. “He didn’t even work in the building. It was a routine thing for him to go there in the morning for breakfast, and unfortunately it happened.”

Proctor said she tried to call her ex-husband throughout the day and drove to the Navy Yard on Monday afternoon, fearing the worst. After waiting for about three hours alongside other relatives concerned about their loved ones, she was informed around 8 p.m. that he was among the dead. Officials did not detail the circumstances of his shooting, she said.

The Proctors married in 1994 and divorced this year. Their older son, Kenneth Proctor Jr., 17, enlisted in the Army after graduating from high school this spring and is in basic training in Oklahoma. Their younger son, Kendull Proctor, is 15.

“We were still very close. It wasn’t a bitter divorce,” Evelyn Proctor said. “We still talked every day, and we lived 10 minutes away from each other.”

Kenneth Proctor was born and raised in Charles County, Md., where he lived until his death.

“He loved the Redskins. Loved his kids — a very loving, caring, gentle person. His kids meant a lot to him,” Evelyn Proctor said.

(Photo: AP)

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