Robert E. “Bob” Kolarich

Godfrey | Sunday, March 20 2011

Robert E. “Bob” Kolarich of Godfrey, IL died March 28, 2011 at Alton Memorial Hospital in the arms of his wife of 65 years.  He was 90 years old.  Born April 29, 1920 in Mallard, IA, and was the third child of George and Norma Kolarich.

He graduated from Mallard High School in 1937 and Yankton College in 1942.  In June 1942 he entered Military Service completing Army Basic Training at Ft. Warren, WY.  Then went to Fort Lawton, WA for deportation.  He spent 1943 and 1944 on Adak Island, in the Aleutians.  Adak was cold, damp, with sunshine only five or six days a year. Japanese troops occupied Attu and Kiska. He returned stateside in January 1945.

While on leave he met a beautiful young lady who was soon to enter nurses training at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, IA. A romance blossomed full bloom. Robert asked Berth Floden to marry him 66 years previous to the day that he died. Bob was discharged from the Army on November 16, 1945. and they were married December 16, 1945 at United Methodist Church in Emmetsburg, Iowa by the Rev Paul Huscher.

After a short honeymoon the young couple traveled by bus to Guthrie Center, Iowa where Robert had accepted a teaching and coaching position. He taught only a short time before joining the JC Penny Company in Yankton, South Dakota. He trained in three stores and managed five. His five stores ranged in size from one of the companies smallest to one of its largest during his 34 years with JC Penny.

Robert Kolarich was proud of his advanced years. However he always said that much credit was due to his wife Bertha. Her love and devotion to Robert and their children led to a love filled home. Her quick action pulled Robert through two heart attacks and one episode. 

Robert and wife Bertha have three children. Jane Killinger of Rapid City, SC, Robert Kolarch Jr. of Nashville, TN, and Roger Kolarich of Decorah, Iowa. They also had eight grandchildren: Jill Nelson of Mission Viejo, CA, Jake Killinger of Springfield, IL, Jessica, Robert III, and Charles Kolarich of Nashville TN, Katie Kolarich of Seattle, WA, Kristine Kolarich of Austin, TX, and Mackenzie Kolarich of Washington DC. They also had seven great grandchildren: Joshua, Micah, Isabelle, Hannah, Josefin, Kierra, and Ella.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 pm, Thursday, March 31, 2011 at the Elias, Kallal, and Schaaf Funeral Home in Godfrey. Funeral Services will be at 11 am, Friday April 1, 2011 at the Main Street United Methodist Church in Alton, with the Rev. Jame Hahs officiating. Local Military Honors will be conducted by the VFW Post 1308 Military Ritual Team. Burial will follow at the Black Hills National Cemetery outside of Sturgis South Dakota, with full military honors.

Elias, Kallal, and Schaaf Funeral Home in Godfrey is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences and guest book may be found at

Obit Provided By:
Elias, Kallal & Schaaf Funeral Home

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