Anthony Francis Koller, of Hatboro, passed away on December 1, 2019, in Abington Hospital. He was 79. Born July 14, 1940, at home in the Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia, he was the son of the late Paul Conrad Koller and Florence Cecilia McCauley.
A 1958 graduate of Roman Catholic High School, Tony attended Villanova University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1962. After graduating, he worked for the National Park Service and was then drafted into the United States Army during the Vietnam era. Following military service, he spent his entire professional career as an environmental engineer, first for the federal government and then as a business consultant upon his civil service retirement.
But soccer was Tony’s true passion. In 1969, he joined the Vereinigung Erzgebirge Club on its initial soccer trip to Europe, which ignited a 50-year association with the social and sports club. He became coach of the 1970 boys’ team, one of the most successful youth teams in VE history, and was the manager of the men's program for over 20 years, culminating with a trip to the USASA National Final Four in 1997. As Sports Chairman, he was instrumental in the growth of the sports program and mentored dozens of coaches and literally hundreds of players throughout the years. Tony was a die-hard soccer fan who enjoyed following Bayern Munich, the German and American National Teams, and above all VE teams. In some cases, Tony witnessed three generations of soccer players within the club and was instrumental in making the VE Soccer program the success it is today. In addition, he later served on the club’s executive board as director and trustee, and chaired many committees. In 2013, he was inducted into the Southeastern Pennsylvania Soccer Hall of Fame.
Upon learning of his passing, one of his former players commented, “Inspirational, motivational, educational, and caring are just a couple words that come to mind when I think of Anthony F. Koller. Family is more than just blood, you will be missed.”
Tony is survived by his sisters, Rosemary Kelly, Susanna Mullen, Bernadette Rumsey, and Eileen Sobol, as well as many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews, and his extended family at Vereinigung Erzgebirge. He is predeceased by his mother and father, sisters, Elizabeth Koller and Florence DiMonte, and brothers, George, Robert, Paul, John and Henry.
Family and friends are invited to his viewing on Friday, December 6, 2019 from 6:00- 8:00 PM in Schneider Funeral Home, 431 N. York Road, Hatboro and again on Saturday, December 7, 2019 after 9:00 AM followed by his Funeral Mass at 10:00 AM in St. John Bosco Church, 215 E County Line Road, Hatboro. His interment will immediately following in St. John Neumann Cemetery, Chalfont.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the SEAL Legacy Foundation, www.SEALLegacy.org, or 2525 Wallingwood Drive, Bldg. 1, Ste. 214, Austin, TX 78746.
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