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Navy Yard shooting victims had long careers there

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 17 2013 5:44 p.m. MDT

She also led efforts "to establish and implement procedures to investigate security violations or incidents," according to the profile.

Her brother, James Frasier, declined comment Monday night.

Kathleen Gaarde, 63, of Woodbridge, Va., was a financial analyst who supported the organization responsible for the shipyards, her husband, Douglass, wrote in an email to the AP Tuesday.

Douglass Gaarde declined to speak, but wrote that he was unable to sleep.

"Today my life partner of 42 years (38 of them married) was taken from me, my grown son and daughter, and friends," he wrote. "We were just starting to plan our retirement activities and now none of that matters. It hasn't fully sunk in yet but I know I already dearly miss her."

Madelyn Gaarde, of Grand Junction, Colo., who's married to Douglass Gaarde's brother, said her sister- and brother-in-law met while he was studying electrical engineering at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Douglass Gaarde, an Illinois native, also worked for the Navy until his retirement last year, his sister-in-law said.

"She was a very gracious person and very welcoming," she said of Kathleen Gaarde.

Logistics analyst John Roger Johnson, 73, was perhaps most notorious for his bear hugs, his daughter said.

"Rib-crunchers," Megan Johnson said with a laugh as she remembered her dad Tuesday. "You didn't have to pay for a chiropractor."

The Derwood, Md., man — the oldest of the victims in Monday's shootings — graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash. He studied mathematics, but he went into the field of reliability engineering, said Megan Johnson, third-youngest of his four daughters.

Most recently, Johnson worked with TWD & Associates, Inc., where co-workers knew him as "J.J."

"These were dedicated employees who cared about their work and their colleagues," TWD president Larry Besterman said Tuesday. "The senseless violence that claimed their lives cannot erase the memory of their friendship and contributions."

Johnson was an avid saltwater fisherman but, his daughter said, "could not cook to save his life." He had a place across the road from the ocean at Nags Head on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for more than 20 years.

Megan Johnson said her father was a "die-hard" Washington Redskins football fan. And while the former youth ice hockey player used to feel the same way about the Baltimore Orioles, she said, "I can tell you, he was switching to the Nats," referring to the Washington Nationals baseball franchise.

Colleagues have said Johnson would always greet them with a hearty, "Good morning, Buddy. How you doing?" His daughter said that made her smile.

"I think the key thing there was his jolly, happy-go-lucky self," she said. "An honestly great guy."

Johnson would have celebrated his 74th birthday on Oct. 7. He also leaves his wife of more than eight years, Judy, and four stepchildren.

Frank Kohler, 50, was a past president of the Rotary Club in Lexington Park, Md. As such, he proudly held the title of "King Oyster" at the annual festival celebrating the region's signature bivalve the third weekend of each October.

"He walks around with a crown and robe and gives out candy," said Bob Allen, Kohler's former boss at Lockheed Martin in southern Maryland. "In fact, he was in charge of the beer stand. I used to have that job and when I left, I handed it off to him."

The married father of two college-age daughters had driven up to the Washington Navy Yard for a meeting Monday when the shootings occurred, friends told Allen. Allen said Kohler had taken over for him as site manager for the defense contractor.

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