Eugene (Gene) Otto Kolb March 14, 1946 - December 26, 2021

Eugene (Gene) Otto Kolb     March 14, 1946 - December 26, 2021

Eugene (Gene) Otto Kolb March 14, 1946 - December 26, 2021

Eugene (Gene) Otto Kolb, age 75, passed away peacefully in his home in Paradise, Montana, on December 26, 2021. He was born in Tacoma, Washington, to Rudolph and Lorena (Schnell) Kolb on March 14, 1946. He was the fourth of five children.
Gene grew up in Elbe, Washington his first ten years of life. His family later moved to National and opened up Kolb’s restaurant and gas station right outside their house. Gene got lots of experience cooking and making homemade milkshakes. He also worked on a chicken ranch in high school along with other jobs.
Gene grew up in a tight knit family with week night and weekend family dinners and card games. He was always a loyal person to anyone who knew him. He met his lifelong best friend, Jake Davis, as a toddler and they remained that way to the end. Jake and his family became a part of Gene’s family.
One of the stories we recall hearing was when Gene and Jake saved enough money in their teen years to buy a fifth of whiskey. Jake wanted to stop by and show Gene’s dad, Rudolph, and Gene didn’t want to stop, but they did. Jake proudly showed him their purchase and Rudolph asked if he could have a drink, which Jake answered with, “of course”. Rudolph drank the bottle down to about an inch left in the bottom and told them to have a great time. Gene wasn’t very happy with his dad or probably with Jake. They have numerous stories and memories that could be shared.
Gene was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, hiking, camping and appreciated the beauty of nature including having all four seasons. He was also a “jokester” and liked competitive games. As a child, he played baseball, but through all of his years, his family always got together to play pinochle, spades, rummy, and other card games.
After graduating from Eatonville High School in 1964, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He first went to Fort Ord Boot Camp in California for four months where he met another close friend, Jim Nations. With the Vietnam War in effect, Gene was fortunate enough to be stationed in Manneheim, Germany, driving a water truck. He met other friends he remained in contact with over the years from his military experience.
After returning home in 1968, he married his first wife, Theresa, and they had their first child, Jacquelyn (Jackie) in 1969. They moved into the family home in Elbe, Washington in 1971 and had two more children in 1973 and 1974, Eugene (Gene) Lee Kolb and Darren Rudolph Kolb. They lived there until 1983. Their family outings included driving in the mountains, berry picking, cone picking, mushroom picking and all of the other things mentioned earlier that Gene enjoyed doing.
His children will tell you he had a unique way of disciplining and they learned life lessons with it. One of the funniest things Jackie recalls was when her little brother Darren got in trouble and Gene told him he was grounded until he split and stacked about seven chords of wood. Gene left for work and Darren invited the entire football team over and they got all the wood split and stacked. Darren was only grounded for a day.
Gene was known as a “hard worker” and very prideful. He would never take anything without earning it. He worked at Todd’s Shipyard in Seattle from 1968 to 1971. He then went to work at Lyle & Nelson Wood Products until 1976. They were bought out by Cowlitz Stud and he worked for Cowlitz Stud Sawmill pulling green chain, being an edgerman, a sawyer, and becoming a foreman. He worked there until 1994. Sometime after the transition period of switching ownership, the mill was shut down for construction and Gene worked for Murray Pacific trapping various animals, mainly beavers. He was out checking his trapping lines when Mt. St. Helen’s erupted in 1980.
Gene married again in 1996 to Glenda and moved to Plains, Montana where he spent his last twenty-five years. Shortly after moving there, he began packing landscaping rock. He soon bought and owned his own rock yard, Perma Stone. He proceeded to do that until fighting throat cancer in 2010 undergoing surgery and radiation in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was cancer free for eleven years and was able to attend graduations, state tournaments, and great-grandchildren being born.
Gene is preceded in death by both of his parents, his sisters, Beverly Anderson and Goldilea McCamey and his only brother, Lee Kolb. He is survived by his wife, Glenda, his sister, Elise Cline, his three children and their spouses, numerous grandchildren and three great-grandchildren along with three nephews, Clyde Anderson, Danny Parks, and John Kolb and one niece, Linda (Anderson) Herrin, and many cousins. He will always be remembered as someone who was loyal, honest, and hard working. He will be dearly missed!!!
His children will be having a “Celebration of Life” at the Eagles Hall in Eatonville, Washington on January 29th at noon. Bring your stories!


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