Gene L. Kolbo, age 70, of Greenwood, WI, passed away on Monday, July 31, 2017, at Marshfield Medical Center.
A Celebration of Life was held on Saturday, August 12, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Parkway Pines Supper Club, N10005 State Hwy. 73 in Greenwood. Military rites were conducted by the Greenwood American Legion Post 238.
Gene Lehman Kolbo was born on February 23, 1947 in Sparta, WI, to Palmer and Elizabeth “Betty” (Larson) Kolbo. He was raised and received his education in Sparta, graduating from Sparta High School in 1966. Gene was drafted into the U.S. Army on September 15, 1966. He fought in Vietnam where he was a decorated veteran, receiving two Purple Hearts. He was honorably discharged on September 13, 1968. He returned to Greenwood and worked at Trierweiler Construction and Berg Equipment in Marshfield. He was united in marriage to Karey Dee (Plummer) Fay on August 14, 1983 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Neillsville. Gene began farming his mother’s family farm northeast of Greenwood, which he farmed until 2015. Gene was a member of the Greenwood American Legion. He was very patriotic to this country, and a highlight of Gene’s life was when he, former Governor Tommy Thompson, former Senator Dave Zien, and one other comrade, delivered a granite monument to Washington D.C. to honor their fallen State comrades. He had many interests, but especially enjoyed riding his Harley, collecting guns, big trucks, and his dogs.
Gene is survived by one sister, Marganne Lemmar of West Allis; one brother, Jesse (Katrina) Kolbo of Weyauwega; four step-children: Laura Fay, Lily (John) Prekezes, Floyd (Mary) Fay, and Byron Fay, all of Chicago; twelve step-grandchildren; five step-great-grandchildren; his dear friend and companion, Shirley Goode and his “little Amish Boy”, Wyatt, of Willard; one brother-in-law, Boyd (Sandee) Plummer of Owen; one sister-in-law, Sandy (Ronald) Post of Marshfield; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Karey, on May 21, 2014; one stepson, Jimmie Fay; one stepgrandson, Gabriel Prekezes and two brothers-in-law, Harry Lemmar and Charles Plummer.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.cuddiefh.com. Cuddie Funeral Home, of Greenwood, is assisting the family with arrangements.
I Know You
Your arms reached out gasping for one last breath.
I know you.
You carried wounds not seen with scars.
You carried memories that burn deep and burn like fire.
The blood dripping from your hands does not wash off, and the screams within you never leave.
You choke up when a flag passes by, and tears fill your eyes when you hear “Taps” as your emotions rise.
The faded army clothes, worn badges, but proud medals that you wear, say so much.
I know you.
You are a veteran from a war no one liked.
You gave when no one wanted, you suffered when no one cared.
You proudly carried the flag that you felt turned its back on you.
You are a Vietnam Soldier.
I breathe freedom because you cared.
My children and grandchildren know freedom because you fought for it.
For those who knew you and understood, no explanation was necessary.
For those who didn’t, no explanation is possible.
Our Hero, Gene Kolbo
“Only the dead have seen the end of the war – Plato”