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Medic who died in sleep is missed; News reaches online friend in Pa. via e-mail.

Byline: Kim Ring

WARE - The bad news reached Pennsylvania via e-mail, which, considering theirs was an online friendship, was appropriate.

The e-mail that made its way to Douglas C. "Doc" Kimbell let him know that Dan Kohlstrom of Ware, "Javahed Dan" to many of his online friends, had died in Afghanistan.

"We talked on Skype and on the Web pages," Mr. Kimbell said of his friend. "He was great, always willing to share his expertise in combat medicine."

Now, they will never get the chance to meet in person.

A medic who'd served in the Army Special Forces, Mr. Kohlstrom later worked for a government contractor. Online friends remembered him as a man who knew a lot about saving lives and was always willing to share what he'd learned with anyone who asked.

Mr. Kohlstrom died in his sleep in Afghanistan, where he was working, on Sept. 10. Friends didn't know last night exactly what happened, but Mr. Kohlstrom had been diagnosed with diabetes not too long ago, around the time he was leaving the Army, Mr. Kimbell said. He added that an autopsy was planned.

Mr. Kohlstrom posted questions about managing blood sugars on a Web site and noted in his writing that he was in good shape. His obituary listed a part-time job as a trainer at Asylum Health and Fitness in Palmer, and he had written online of his love of biking. On a Web site, a friend recalled taking a challenging hike with him.

While he loved the military, rode a motorcycle and was interested in weaponry, Mr. Kohlstrom also appreciated nature and enjoyed photography. He sometimes shared scenic pictures from his travels with friends. Other times, he sent photos of combat training; spent shells on the ground.

He had a sense of humor and "that smile on his face, made you wonder what he was up to," Mr. Kimbell said.

"He was a funny guy, he had some, well, some colorful jokes," said Mr. Kimbell, a long-time civilian paramedic who was attached to the Pennsylvania State Police.

Mr. Kohlstrom leaves two children in Indiana and his wife, Tiffany (Kovitch) Kohlstrom, whom he married 8 months ago. They were living in Ware.

He is also survived by his mother, Beverly R. Kohlstrom of Princeton.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete.


CUTLINE: Mr. Kohlstrom
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Sep 14, 2009
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