Leo N. Kolbet

leo kolbet
Leo N. Kolbet, Age 88, of Elma, IA died on Monday, October 20, 2008 at Mercy Medical Center in New Hampton. Leo Nicholas Kolbet was born on July 30, 1920 in Alta Vista, IA to John and Caroline (Glaser) Kolbet. He attended school at St. Williams School in Alta Vista. Leo farmed until he entered the Army Air Corp in 1942. He served in the European theater during World War II attached to the Mighty Eighth Air Force Stationed in London, England. He was discharged on October 15, 1944. Upon his return to Iowa he farmed in the Alta Vista area. Leo was united in marriage to Millie Vachta at Holy Trinity Church in Protivin on February 16, 1949. Leo and Millie farmed for 50 years in the Elma and Alta Vista area. He retired to Elma in 1991. Leo enjoyed driving for the Mennonite community, playing cards, golf outings, Chicago Cubs and Hawkeye Football. Leo was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Elma, Catholic Order of Foresters, Farm Bureau and a life member of the Alta Vista VFW Post 4069. Leo is survived by his wife Millie of Elma, IA; five children Pat (Roger) Palmersheim of New Hartford, IA, Sandy (Al) Tunis of Kansas City, MO, Deb (Dan) Sturm of Cedar Falls, IA, Garry (Donna) Kolbet of Waverly, IA, Jon Kolbet of Portland, OR; 15 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren; two sisters Lois (Jack) McAvoy of Elma, IA, Lola (Bill) Boss of Charles City, IA; sister-in-law Donna Kolbet of Osage, IA; several nieces and nephews; many Mennonite friends. He is preceded in death by his parents; four brothers Leonard, Luvern, Louis and Linus; a sister Luella Phippen; a great grandson Jackson Llewellyn. Cemetery: Burial will be in the Mt. Calvary Cemetery at Alta Vista. Military rites will be provided by the Alta Vista VFW - Paul Johann Post 4069. Visitation: Visitation will be from 4:00PM to 8:00PM on Thursday, October 23, 2008 with a 5:00 pm rosary and a scriptural wake service at 6:00pm at Conway-Kolbet Funeral Home in Elma. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the funeral home on Friday. Service: A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 am on Friday, October 24, 2008 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Elma with Father Ray Atwood officiating.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Deb, Gary, Pat and family
    My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. I know your father was a great man because just
    look at his wonderful family…behind wonderful children are wonderful parents.
    Love Tom and Belinda Dix

  2. Gary & Donna – We are sorry to hear of Leo’s death. We will keep and your family in our prayer’s during the coming day’s. Remember the Butterfly is Alive & Well.

    Duke and Jo

  3. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?For I am convinced that neither death nor life,neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future,nor any powers,neisght height nor depth,nor anything else in all creation,will be able to separate us from the love of God;that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  4. Deb,
    So sorry to hear of your father’s passing. I will certainly keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do! Best, Paul

  5. Deb, Pat & Family-

    I am so sorry for your loss. I didn’t know your Dad, but from what I have heard about him, he was a wonderful person. My prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. If you need anything please let me know.

    Jaye Miller

  6. Gwammy, Remember all the harrassing we gave Papa allthose years? He was the only one who would let us feed him ice cream!!!He put up with us being goofy…remember when you hid your car and pretended you were not at work?haha!!! He will be missed by a lot of people,he was a good papa…Love Susan

  7. He’s the only Father Figure I ever had and owe alot to Him (It’s Probably a good thing he got me off on the track of being a farmer – a Kolbet farmer that is – Dale owes him a lot also) – Anyway I know how hard it is and feel your pain. There sure are a lot of memories behind this man and his wife – My Deepest Sympathy to all of you at this time – (AND of course we all know the first question he is going to ask my Mother)

  8. Millie and Family
    You are all in our thoughts and prayers. We will be thinking of you all during these next days. With heartfilled sympathies and love….Joe & Jill

  9. Millie and family, Our Deepest Sympathy in your time of sadness. I feel blessed that I got a chance to know Leo and he was truely a “gentle” man.

  10. My sincere condolences to your family at this time. I have only heard what a delightfully “plucky,” fellow he was. There is grace in that he was able to say good-bye and depart apace. Celebrate him and be comforted by the legacy left behind.

  11. Pat, Deb and families – I am so sorry for your loss. Just remember he is now with the angels and having no pain. I hope God will grant you comfort and peace in the days ahead. I am here to listen whenever you want to talk. Love and HUGS, Norma

  12. Deb, Pat & family ~ We are so sorry for your loss, and want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. It sounds like your dad/grandpa/husband was a very special person, and the character of his kids attests to it! May you experience our Loving Father’s presence during this sorowful time. Dave & Laura Severson

  13. I was around 2 or 3, and Millie was probably 15-16
    when she came to Alta vista to work for my mom.
    That was also about the time that Leo returned from the
    war. Since we lived just down the road from where Leo
    grew up, they met, and the rest is history. I was still a
    little shaver, but i do remember them sitting together
    in our front yard.
    My Grandpa, Garrett Hoverman and Leo’s dad and uncle
    Nick kolbet were great friends.
    But it all started in our yard.
    Jim Hoverman

  14. Sandy, Al and Family — My heart goes out to all of you. I am sorry I am not there with you physically, but my thoughts, prayers and love are with you for always. Love, Linda

  15. Jon and familiy–
    It is so hard to say goodbye. Please accept our deepest sympathy on the loss of your father, husband, grandfather. Words cannnot express the comfort we wish to convey. We know he will be missed by all of you.

  16. So sorry to hear of Leo’s death. I’m sure he will be missed by all. Was so glad I could see both of you when Lola and Bill had their 50th.
    Leah and Ambrose Waelti
    Monroe, Wis.

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