James Herdis Kolb was born July 18, 1939, at the old Princeton Hospital to Herdis Clements Kolb and Violet Isabel (Crecelius) Kolb. Jim passed away at 5:45 PM on July 25, 2019, at Deaconess Gateway Hospital in Evansville, IN, after a stroke.
When Jim was born, his mother developed tuberculosis. He and “my brother Phil,” as he always called him, lived with their Grammy (Myrtle Watkins Crecelius), Pa Ed (Edgar Crecelius), Aunt Eula (Crecelius) Kirk, and Aunt Rosemary Crecelius until their mother was well. This created a tremendous foundation of love and caring for both Phil and Jim. His best childhood friends were his brothers and cousins, especially Johnny and Frank Kolb. They all loved swimming at Rock Bottom on the Patoka River.
Jim was a 1957 graduate of Owensville High School; however, he attended several schools since his father was a teacher and coach. He was particularly attached to Mt. Olympus School and had many friends there. He obtained his college degrees from Indiana State University.
Jim was married to Judith Scott Kolb on May 6, 1957, upon high school graduation, and they celebrated 61 years together. She passed away on December 31, 2018. He and Judy both became teachers and enjoyed farming on the side. Jim became a very successful elementary teacher and school principal. When asked about his accomplishments, he always said he didn’t want to be remembered for those. He wanted to be remembered for loving the students, staff, and the profession. Jim had a natural way of calming any situation, which made people feel secure in his presence. He always supported the teacher and gave them a sense of security. He knew the names of students and convinced them they were important. He always listened to the parents and knew they had good ideas. His Uncle Chester Kolb made quite an impression on his teaching, farming, politics, and knowledge in general.
Jim later served eight years as Gibson County Treasurer and received state recognition for his efforts to save our county tax money. He was a proud member of the Democrat Party. Jim was a lifetime member of Union Bethel Presbyterian Church, a former member of the Gibson General Hospital Board of Directors, and contributed to many community organizations.
He is survived by daughters Kathleen Susan Meeks (Dennis) of Owensville, Jacqueline Ann Kolb (Harold Dixson) of Arlington TX, and Jill Elizabeth Embree (Matthew) of Patoka; 6 grandchildren, Daniel Meeks (Deanna), Natalie Reffett, Zachary Kolb (Jenny), Heath Kolb (Hallie), Bobby Embree, and Katie Sue Embree; great-grandchildren Daniela Meeks, Emma, Jackson, and Colby Brown, Gabe Reffett, Lane and Jase Kolb, Boone and Walker Kolb; brothers Phillip (Jane) Kolb of Boonville, IN, Alan (Shirley) Kolb of Rickreal, OR, and David ( Maria) Kolb of Francisco, IN ; brother-in-law Phil (Marla) Scott and sister-in-law Jane (John) Braselton. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Judy, and son James Herdis Kolb II on Feb. 11, 2013.
Jim worked tirelessly for his family. He loved his dogs, mules, and his Katahdin sheep—especially Mary Katherine, and most of all living in Washington Township-Gibson County where 10 generations of his family have lived.
Jim’s request was that there be no visitation or service. He will be cremated, and his remains will be interred at Decker Cemetery near Patoka. Memorial contributions may be made to the James H. Kolb Memorial Scholarship, c/o Old National Bank, 1703 W. Broadway St., Princeton, IN 47670
Condolences may be expressed or you may light a candle in memory of Jim online at www.colvinfuneralhome.com. The Colvin Funeral Home in Princeton, IN is honored to serve the Kolb family.
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