William “Bill” Kolb

William “Bill” Kolb, age 85, died peacefully on Saturday, January 23, 2021  at Stewartville Care Center from complications of a stroke after contracting the COVID-19 virus.

Bill was born in Austin, MN in 1935 to his parents Norb & Cathleen Kolb. They moved to Rochester when he was 2 years old. He graduated from Rochester High School in 1953 and later he earned a college degree in business from the University of Minnesota.

He and wife Helen were married in 1954. They were married for 32 years and raised 4 children. Bill began working at IBM-Rochester in 1956. He retired from IBM in 1991 and went on to co-own RGI Realty until 2013.

Bill was a youth football coach when the family lived in Country Club Manor in NW Rochester. The family moved to SW Rochester in 1970, where Bill continued to coach football and also youth baseball. He also enjoyed classic cars, science, and jazz & big band/swing music.

Bill is survived by his ex-wife Helen Kolb of Rochester; 3 of his children, Marcy Sexton (Dave Butlin) of Oronoco, Lori Hessian of St. Louis Park, and Steve Kolb of Rochester; 4 grandchildren, Jesi (Mark) Johnston of Stewartville, Buck (Jen) Sexton of Racine, Billy (Sarah Gormady) Hessian of Eastport, Maine, and Scott (Michele) Hessian of St. Paul; and 7 great grandchildren.

Bill was preceded in death by his son Dan Kolb, his son-in-law Jay Hessian, his brother Garry Kolb and his sister-in-law Jeannie Kolb and their daughter Lisa Kolb.

Rochester Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements. Memories and condolences of Bill may be shared at rochestercremationservicesmn.com

3 thoughts on “William “Bill” Kolb

  1. Bill Kolb was a friend and a long time IBM employee. Bill was a great guy to work with. Bill we will miss you. May God bless you and family & friends. Robert E. & Judith V. Adams
    IBM Rochester MN–2/8/2021

  2. Good bye Granddaddy. The holiday memories and laughs we shared will be remembered for a long long time. And as we always joked, I am Happy to share a name with you.

  3. Bill hired me at IBM and he was a wonderful mentor and manager. He was a great motivator based primarily on his kindness and care for the people that worked for him. Eventually, I too became a manager and I tried to model myself after him. I recall he hosted my wife Mary and I during our interview trip, and rather then assign somebody from the department to host, he spent most of the day with us selling IBM and Rochester. I’m most grateful for what I learned from Bill and how he always treated me so well. God Bless Bill and the Kolb family.

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