Bradley “Brad” Kohlman

Bradley David Kohlman, 50, died of complications of cystic fibrosis April 25, 2011 at his home in Penngrove, CA.  Brad was born August 12, 1960 in Albuquerque, NM.  He grew up in Lawrence, KS, and graduated from Lawrence High School in 1978.  Brad attended Kansas University in Lawrence and Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA.

Brad’s extensive career in the construction industry encompassed home  construction, remodeling, interior finish, design and drafting.  In 1978 Brad began work with Gene Fritzel Construction of Lawrence, KS, while attending the University of Kansas.  After studying at Brooks Institute of Photography, Brad moved to Boulder, CO.  He returned to Lawrence, KS in 1986 where he worked for both Gene Fritzel Construction and Joel Fritzel Construction and later started his own company, Avalon Building and Design.  Because of his health, Brad and his companion Natasha moved to California in 1998 where he started BK Design, an architectural design and drafting company, working in various aspects of construction and design consulting until shortly before his death.

Brad is survived by many who loved him dearly; his beloved long-time companion, Natasha Roembach; his parents, David and Linda Kohlman from Colorado Springs; his brother, Jeff, sister-in-law, Dawn, and nephews, Austin and Alex from Centennial, CO; 7 uncles; 8 aunts; 14 cousins and many in his extended family.  He was preceded in death by his grandparents, an uncle, and two cousins.

Brad lived his life with purpose, integrity, a deep sense of responsibility, and an amazing ability to live well beyond the limitations of his disease, never allowing cystic fibrosis to define him.  He was a gentle and creative man who loved life and had a sense of humor often expressed in his photography, art, and writing.  He loved animals, flowers, gardening, and reading.  He was a rock climber, skier, and hiker.

Brad was a blessing to our lives.  We all cherish him and will miss him deeply but find comfort in knowing that he is finally at peace. 

An informal gathering to celebrate Brad’s life will be held Saturday, May 14 at 3 p.m. at the Pioneer Cemetery on the West Campus of the University of Kansas.  If you wish to make a donation to honor Brad’s life, we would suggest a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-Colorado Chapter, 1355 S. Colorado Blvd.-Suite C-200, Denver, CO 80222. 

32 Condolences

  1. Lois Brewster, great aunt on April 27, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    My empathy to Natasha and to Dave and Linda and their family. I know the mixture of emotions that accompanies the release from this life of a dearly beloved one. May you each be granted comfort and peace.

  2. John & Virginia Gorker on April 27, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Tasha,Dave,Linda,Jeff and family.
    You are in our thoughts and prayers at this time. We know you will miss Brad deeply.

  3. Rowenna "Ronnie" Blum on April 28, 2011 at 1:01 am

    I’m so glad you are/were able to be there, and gently lay Brad into gentle arms. Hugs, and prayers of comfort.

  4. Ken Norris on April 28, 2011 at 5:50 am

    I am very touched about the life Brad led, he indeed was a person of many talents. Dave & Linda my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  5. Sue Gorker on April 28, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Brad’s gifts were many, touching countless people, myself included. We will all hold his beautiful spirit in our souls for the remaining days of our lives. May those of you who were closest to him find God’s beauty in everything around you, as you go through the healing that only time, and our Heavenly Father can give.

  6. Karen & Laurence Russo on April 28, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Brad was a very courageous man who made the most out of life; we can all learn from his example of never giving up.

    He will be in everyone’s heart forever!

    Love, Laurence and Karen

  7. Carol Norris Vincent on April 28, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Brad has left a wonderful legacy of creativity, friendship, love, and bravery. He was a special person and his relationship with each of my sons was so special — the joy of nature, deep thinking, mutual respect. May God grant each of you peace and assurance that Brad, who was so special to you, lives on in the hearts of so many whose lives he has touched.

  8. William Ciccone on April 28, 2011 at 8:38 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  9. Linda Koehler on April 28, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Brad was a remarkable individual. Bruce and I enjoyed our times with the two boys immensely. They both made us feel we would be perfect parents. Thus we thank David and Linda.
    My prayers and loving wishes go to your family. Linda

  10. Barb & Ken Bishop on April 28, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Dear Ones — Our hearts ache for you and your loss.

    We recognize that there is also joy that you had Brad for so many more years than you’d thought possible at first.

    He spent his life “making his mark” in this world with his design, photography and carpentry skills — that is wonderful.

    We will remember him with love and we send you hugs.

    B & K

  11. Pam (Brewster) Mark, cousin on April 28, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Brad sounds like he grew into quite a wonderful man. He was born when I was seven. I’m only sorry I didn’t get to know him better. The gift of family is priceless and a true treasure. Thanks for writing such a detailed story of his life.

  12. DLK on April 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm


  13. Vicki and Mark Levine on April 28, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Dear Natasha, Linda, and Dave,

    I can only imagine the grief and loss you are experiencing right now. Please know that Mark and I are both thinking of you and praying for your comfort and peace. With love,

    Vicki Levine

  14. Scott Burchill on April 28, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    I am so thankful for the many fond memories of Brad that I will carry with me always. I specifically remember a certain International Harvester Scout with a big rollbar …

  15. Laurie Picus and Allan Weiss on April 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    We are both pained by your profound loss. We know that your daily words and acts of love and support nurtured Brad in his final days. Know that we are here for you when you return and send our loving prayers your way.

  16. Christopher Peters on April 28, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    I recall Brad only as a youth when we were both growing up in Lawrence, and completely lost track of him after high school. I enjoyed reading of his accomplishments in his adult life, which was ended far too soon. Condolences to all who knew and loved him!

  17. Scott Madsen on April 29, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Brad was an inspiration to our family. My prayers are with you and your family as we await our heavenly reunion.

  18. Arlene Macura on April 29, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    My heart goes out to you Linda
    & Dave at the loss of your son, Brad. Also, to you Jeff at the passing of your brother, your only sibling. I
    know you’re all experiencing
    great emotional pain. I only wish that I could ease that pain. However,I’ll have to settle for letting you know I care. Hugs

  19. Sherri Millsap on April 30, 2011 at 8:16 am

    The love you show every day and the love you shared with your family was reflected in Brad’s life. Oh how God used Brad and continues to use you to show the love He has for us. May God bless you and give you peace.

  20. Vicki Raney Booth on May 1, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Linda and David, I just learned of the loss of your precious son.Linda I have not seen you for 20 plus years but recall how you told of Davis’s bravery even then. Love to you

  21. Eleanor Scott Meyers (aka Burchill) on May 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Dearest Linda, David and Jeff. I am so sad and yet, I’ve just read the obituary giving some of the outline of Brad’s life since our lives moved out in different ways. What a life to celebrate! It is almost unbelievable to me that he was able to create such a fulfilling life against the odds presented by CF. Good for him; good for all of you for all the contributions you made to his life . . . as I know he added to each of yours so very much. I remember him as such a lovely kind gentle young man.
    Now I join you in your sense of loss and wonderment in a life ended far too soon but lived to the fullest.
    I will never forget the gifts of love and healing you brought to my life in those Lawrence years. What a legacy we have . . . that continues across the years. You are life-giving people and Brad–and I–are beneficiaries of that loving kindness.
    Thank you again, across the years and miles. With love to you in this special time, Eleanor

  22. Tara Roseberry on May 2, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. You may not remember me but Brad and I dated for about a year while he was living in Lawrence. Even though he and I were meant for others, we stayed great friends until we lost contact when he moved to California. I think of him often and hoped that his life in California was great, which I’m sure it was because of his love for Natasha! I always admired him for his love for life and gardening and have many fond memories of the rather large garden we built together at the house on Maine St. I am sorry that he is no longer with you all, but am also assured that he is in a wonderful place with loved ones whom have passed. God bless you all and hold you dear in this time of sorrow.

  23. Lisa Ikeguchi on May 4, 2011 at 4:07 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss, I’ve only known Brad for a short time but in that short time he became a friend that I will deeply miss. Natasha and family may God give you peace, serenity, and comfort.

  24. Summer on May 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Fair winds and following seas to a gentle, caring and loving soul. I will miss you, dear Brother. I will always be the steel….

  25. gretchen vap on May 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I almost felt I knew Brad through my dear friend Natasha. Natasha and I shared the difficulties of the dying of a dear one together as I lost my daughter 4/22, and she lost Brad 3 days later. Heartfelt comfort to all who loved him.

  26. Byron Springer on May 5, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. I remember Brad fondly from our days on Providence Road in Lawrence. His life is an inspiration to us all.

  27. Joanne and Tom Munger on May 7, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Dear Linda and Dave,
    We send our sincerest sympathies to you. We think about you often, and especially now as we are in Lawence, passing near your homes in West Lawrence and where Jeff worked when he was a student at KU (near 23rd and Iowa). Although his life was short, he lived a very fulfilled and meaningful life.

  28. Joanne and Tom Munger on May 7, 2011 at 12:07 am

    (cont’d). I accidentally pushed the wrong button and I think my msg got sent before I finished.
    We will be thinking of you this weekend. so sorry we couldn’t stay to attend. You and all you’d family will be in our prayers.

  29. Joanne and Tom Munger on May 7, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Msg 3 – Be at peace knowing that Brad is without pain and in a much better life. Love, Joanne and Tom

  30. Mary Cole on May 11, 2011 at 11:09 am

    To the Kohlman family and friends: I very much enjoyed reading this lovely tribute to Brad. I never had the pleasure of knowing him, but it is clear that he was very special, and was loved very deeply. My heartfelt condolences to you all, and may you find solace in your wonderful memories. – Mary Cole, ESI-IL

  31. Cindy Dameron (former spouse) on May 16, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Hand in hand, so many hands, filled life with life and the greatest of these were with love.

  32. Patti Bowman on May 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Dear Dave and Linda,
    I am very sorry for your loss. I knew Brad mostly through you. He lived life to the fullest, showing great courage and strength. Sending prayers of peace.

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