FYN’s saddened to report the passing of dear friend and longtime Field Representative for Congressman Doug Collins, Bill Kokaly. He moved on to a better world on Friday morning of June 12 after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Kokaly loyally served Collins since the congressman’s first campaign and was instrumental in managing the military academy nominations for Ninth District high school students.
He retired from the United States Air Force after 20 years of service in 1996, and passionately represented Collins’ military constituents whenever they needed assistance. Additionally, he discussed public policy and issues of interest at Ninth District events in order to better understand the citizens.
An outpouring of condolences for Kokaly’s family is taking place across Georgia and the Ninth District. Collins released a statement mourning Kokaly’s passing on June 12:
“Like most people, I have been blessed with childhood friends who have walked with me and my family through every phase of life, constant in a sea of ever-changing tides. However, I believe that God brings other folks into your life at the right time to help you through a season in your life that only that person can fill. This morning one of those people finished his calling.
“It is with a very heart that I have to announce that Bill Kokaly died this morning. Bill has been with me from the beginning of my first campaign for Congress and has been a part of my staff – and more importantly, a part of my family – ever since. His amazing dedication to the work of the 9th District and to his family will never be replaced. He was a man of passion and strength, which is growing rare in these times.
Bill and I both shared a love of, as Bill would put it, our Air Force. The old MSgt never left his service behind. There is one group this morning that will miss Mr. Bill as much as I do, and that is all of the students that he helped get accepted to the service academies. He loved each and every one of those kids and followed their careers just like a proud parent.
To his wife, Gail, and the rest of Bill’s family, we share your pain and hold you close in our prayers. On a personal note, I will miss you, my friend. You taught me so much and I will miss our time together. Your season in my life ended too soon but I am the blessed one to have even had this season with you at all. God bless you, my friend. We will miss you.”
Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston also released a statement of mourning and commemoration of Kokaly:
“I was so sorry to learn of the passing of my friend, Bill Kokaly, this morning. Bill served our Congressman Doug Collins and represented him at countless events and community gatherings in North Georgia.
“A tireless worker and selfless servant, Bill never met a stranger and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He worked everyday to build up our community and see a better tomorrow for our children and grandchildren.
“I will miss his friendship and his infectious generous spirit. My prayers go out to his bride, Gail, and his family in this difficult time. May he rest in well-deserved peace.”
We at FYN send our prayers, thoughts, and condolences to Kokaly’s wife Gail, and his family. He was a great man who genuinely wanted the best for everyone in the Ninth District, the state of Georgia, and the United States. Kokaly’s lifelong career of service to his country will be remembered and valued by all who knew him. May he rest in peace.
To read people’s memories of Bill Kokaly, please view Congressman Collins’ Facebook page.
Images were taken from Kokaly’s and Collins’ Facebook.