Shirley Jean (Hilton) Kohena
Age 88 of Horseheads, and formerly of Elmira Heights and Hector, NY. She was born on December 27, 1932 in Monterey, NY, the daughter of the late Clifton John and Lola (Wolverton) Hilton, and passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family on Wednesday, December 30th 2020. In addition to her parents Shirley was predeceased by her loving husband of nearly 57 years, Julius D. Kohena on March 1st 2012; along with her siblings Lawrence C. (Jeane) Hilton, infant Robert L. Hilton, Maynard T. (Inez) Hilton, infant Elwyn R. Hilton, Phyllis L. (Raymond) Frost, and Clarey J. Hilton; and special friends Barbara Shannon Kashmir, Teddy Scott McBee, Robert and June May, and Richard and Edith Roller. She is survived by Kathleen A. Kohena, John C. (Loueva) Kohena, and Kristin M. Kohena, all of Horseheads, NY; grandchildren Jennifer L. Spicer of Horseheads, NY, and Christopher E. (Greta) Spicer of Bloomingdale, NY; great grandchildren Sage E. Spicer-Ure of Richmond, VA, Bevan B. MacPike of Horseheads, NY, and Tully Spicer of Bloomingdale, NY; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews; many dear friends including Beatrice Eisenhower of Elmira, NY; special loved ones Patricia Boland, James Roller, Rod Ward, David Lain, Tim Decker, Nan May Simonetti, and Theresa Usack; and thousands of young people whose lives she touched through her role as a caring, and loving teacher. Shirley was a 1950 graduate of Corning Northside High School. She went on to graduate from Brockport State Teacher’s College in 1954, the following year she married Julius D. Kohena in Endicott, NY. She was hired on for her first teaching position in the Spencerport School District by the District Superintendent in 1953, while she was still completing her student teaching during the Fall of her Senior year at Brockport. Her talent was on display there until she moved onto Bradford Central School District in 1954. The following year Shirley began teaching for the Elmira Heights Central School District, where she remained until 1987. She then returned to teaching for Holy Family Intermediate from 1991 to 2001. She and Julius were devoted communicants of the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Elmira Heights, NY. With her husband, Shirley was a founding member and served on the Board of Directors of Able 2, originally known as Cerebral Palsy and Handicapped Children’s Association of Chemung County. The agency’s first phone number was, in fact, the Kohena family home phone. She was also involved with the ARC of Schuyler (currently The ARC of Chemung-Schuyler), where she served on the Board of Directors and as a Board President. She was a member of both the Elmira Heights and Watkins Glen- Montour Falls Rotary Clubs. Shirley was a recipient of the Paul Harris Fellowship in recognition of her many years of support for the ideals and goals of Rotary International. Private services will be held with her family; Shirley will be laid to rest alongside her husband in the Holy Trinity Orthodox Cemetery, in Elmira Heights. In lieu of flowers, those wishing may make a donation in Shirley’s name to Able2, P.O. Box 1554, Elmira, NY 14902, and/or The ARC of Chemung – Schuyler, 711 Sullivan Street, Elmira, NY 14901.
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