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Navy Yard shooting victims had long careers there

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

Kohler was working for Information Concepts in Management, LLC, a subcontractor of TWD & Associates, Inc. He had been on the NAVSEA project just under two years, according to a TWD statement released Tuesday.

He was a 1985 graduate of Pennsylvania's Slippery Rock University in computer science. Allen said Kohler 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."

Information technology specialist Mary Knight, 51, of Reston, Va., had recently received a big promotion and witnessed the marriage of her older daughter, her mother said.

"I don't know how this happened," Liliana DeLorenzo, 76, said from her home in Fayetteville, N.C., Tuesday. "She was a good daughter and a good mother and a hard worker. It's a loss. It's a great loss."

Knight was born in Germany, where 1st Sgt. Frank DeLorenzo, a Green Beret instructor who did a tour in Vietnam, was stationed at the time. When she was about 10, the family was transferred to Fort Bragg, N.C.

Liliana DeLorenzo, a native of Trieste, Italy, said her daughter attended local schools and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"She was a No. 1 student," the proud mother said. "She always liked to go to school."

Knight, the oldest of three children, had recently been promoted at work to GS 15 — the top civil service pay grade, her mother said. Last month, her older daughter, Nicole, 25, married a soldier.

DeLorenzo said Knight's younger daughter, Daniel (she said this was how to spell it), 20, was living with her in Reston while attending college. She said Knight never expressed any concerns about working at the Navy Yard.

Having watched her own husband and other soldiers go off to war, she never dreamed she had to worry about her civilian daughter.

"They survived, these soldiers, Afghanistan, Iraq and all that, and then they get over here and get killed," she said with a sigh. "I don't know what to say. I've been in shock. We've been in shock over such a thing. ...

"You really don't think about the parents and relatives, what they go through. Now I know."

Marine engineer and naval architect Vishnu Pandit, 61, was a hard-working Indian immigrant, known for his devotion 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, Md., 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 earning 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.

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