Cover photo for Kenneth Kolb's Obituary
Kenneth Kolb Profile Photo
1931 Kenneth 2012

Kenneth Kolb

February 24, 1931 — January 29, 2012

A celebration of life for Kenny Kolb will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, February 3, 2012 at Tabor United Methodist Church, Big Stone City, South Dakota. Visitation will be held at 1:00 p.m., prior to the celebration at the church. Pastors Iva Laudermith and Beth Conrad will be officiating. Burial will be at the Greenwood Cemetery in Big Stone City, South Dakota.

Kenneth C. Kolb ("Kenny"), 80, died peacefully in his sleep January 29th. Preceded in death by his beloved bride of nearly 55 years, Georgia (Hamm) Kolb, his parents, Bertha and Clarence Kolb, and siblings Verla and Ronald Kolb, Sr. Kenny is survived by children Kim Kolb, Deb Stern (Sam) and Mark Kolb (Karen); grandchildren Phillip (Molly) Stern, Ellie Stern, Kyle (Susanne) Kolb, Shawn Kolb, Kelly Kolb and Kristi Kolb; and siblings Robert (Marge) Kolb and Arlys (Luane) Welde and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Kenny spent his entire life connected to the Big Stone Lake community he loved so much. Born in Big Stone City on February 24, 1931, he graduated from Big Stone City High School in 1949. Kenny was a basketball hero at the Big Stone City High School. Kenny and Georgia met while they both worked at Hilltop Cafe in Ortonville and were married on January 8, 1954.

Kenny served the community throughout his life, serving as a lifelong member of Tabor United Methodist Church, member of the Masonic Lodge, chief of the BSC Fire Department, Grand Marshall of the Ortonville Corn Festival Parade, proprietor of Ken's Service Station in Big Stone, who fixed everyone's radiators and the namesake of Ken's Fireworks, the area's largest seller of explosive entertainment, for more than 50 years. Loyal customers, with plenty of alternatives, would travel for hundreds of miles just to visit with Kenny and Georgia every Fourth of July season. For as long as his health permitted, Kenny could be found mornings at the Cottage Inn in Big Stone City, swapping stories with his coffee klatch, shaking dice and contributing to the South Dakota general fund.

Kenny loved the water. As a young man, he worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor at the BSC and Ortonville municipal beach, later regaling his grandchildren with tales of swimming across Big Stone Lake. An avid outdoorsman, Kenny was a proficient hunter and fisherman, a love and talent he passed on to his sons and grandsons. Trophy walleye adorn the Kolb home and Kenny was even able to teach his city-slicker son-in-law how to ice fish. Kenny's love of the outdoors manifested itself in his beautiful gardens, which he continued to tend through this last season. Fiercely independent, Kenny would insist on using his motorized wheel chair as stepstool in order to better trim the trees he planted 40 years ago, now flourishing on the family property overlooking Big Stone Lake.

Nothing was more important to Kenny than his family. He was a kind, gentle, generous and proud brother, husband, father, uncle and grandfather. His unconditional love for his lifelong friends and family served as an example to all of a life well lived and a guide to achieving the best in all of us. When his grandchildren drove out last weekend from Minneapolis to say goodbye, Kenny lit up and, as a final lesson, summoned the strength to whisper to grandson Phillip "Just enjoy life".

The family wishes to extend its thanks and appreciation to the staff of Northridge Health Center for their care of Kenny for the past several years. Donations preferred to the Struthers Parkinson's Center, 6701 Country Club Drive, Golden Valley, Minnesota 55427.

Larson Funeral Home in Ortonville, MN is in charge of arrangements for Kenny Kolb. To send condolences to the family, on-line, visit our website at


Tabor United Methodist Church

Big Stone City, SD

Friday, February 3, 2012
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


Tabor United Methodist Church

Big Stone City, SD

Friday, February 3, 2012
2:00 PM


Greenwood Cemetery

Big Stone City, SD

Friday, February 3, 2012


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