Donald “Don” Kolbert, 92, passed away Monday (September 14, 2020) of natural causes, at the Stewartville Care Center, where he had been a resident since 2017.
Donald Edgar Kolbert was born Oct. 23, 1928, in Tracy, MN., to Edgar “Ed“ and Lucile (Key) Kolbert. The family moved to Luverne, MN., in 1934, where they owned a poultry hatchery business and where Don grew up and attended school, graduating from Luverne H.S. in 1946. He attended Macalester College in St. Paul, MN., before transferring to Northwestern Electronic Institute in Minneapolis, MN., where he graduated in 1949. In 1946 Don enlisted into the U.S. Naval Reserve serving for 18 years, retiring as a Chief Electronics Technician.
Don was married on Nov. 20, 1949, his bride’s birthday!, in Luverne, MN to Marjorie Van Voorst. Following their marriage the couple lived in North Dakota, then St. Paul for a number of years, before moving to Stewartville in 1966, where they raised their children and made their home for many years. Throughout his career, Don worked in a variety of electronics and computer-related positions, including chief broadcast engineer, electronic systems analyst and biomedical applications engineer. He was employed for 12 years at Minnesota Public Radio in Rochester, MN, as the chief broadcast engineer until his retirement in 2004. Don continued his education earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Education from Winona State University in 1982 and a Master of Science degree in Industrial Education from St. Cloud State University in 1988. Marjorie was employed for 25 years at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Mrs. Kolbert died July 29, 2007. The Kolberts were long-time members of Stewartville United Methodist Church. In later years, Don was an active lay speaker serving Methodist churches throughout southeastern Minnesota and sharing his love for the Lord Jesus Christ. He was an avid outdoorsman enjoying fishing, hunting and trapping and loved time spent with family, especially his grandchildren.
Don’s family would like to thank the staff at the Stewartville Care Center and Seasons Hospice for the excellent care their father received.
Survivors include daughters - Valere (Allen) Beeck of Akron, IA., and Jodell “Jode” (Chris) Fancher of Wabasha; sons - David (Carol Lammers) Kolbert of Rochester and Christopher (Sheila) Kolbert of St. Charles, MN; grandchildren - Karli Kolbert, Kayla Kolbert, Jason Kolbert, Jacob Fancher, Cassie Fancher, Isaac (Kelsey) Beeck, Fernando Beeck, Garrett Beeck, Jesse Beeck, Eva Beeck, JoAnah (Michael) Henderson, Nicolas Beeck, Joshua Beeck, Adrian Beeck, Khristian Beeck and five great-grand children; his sister - Doris Cowan of Baltimore, MD; sister-in-law – Viola Fritz of Cannon Falls, MN and nieces and nephews. Don was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years – Marjorie, his parents and brother-in-laws - Ward Cowan and John Fritz.
Due to public health concerns, a private family memorial service will take place at Griffin Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville followed by burial and a committal service at Woodlawn Cemetery in Stewartville. Memorial gifts may be directed to Mayo Clinic Parkinson’s Research Program (www.mayoclinic.org/giving-to-mayo-clinic). Condolences and memories of Don are welcome at www.griffin-gray.com.