Alvin (Al) A. Kollaja passed away Thursday, October 17, 2013. Al was born in Fayetteville, Texas on August 28, 1923 to John L. and Sophie (Vasut) Kollaja. Al was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend and will be sorely missed. Al is survived by his wife, Claire F. Kollaja, sons Anthony A. Kollaja (wife Joyce) of Hayden, Idaho; Daniel Chris Kollaja (partner Tom Dooher) of San Francisco, California; Myles J. McDonough (wife Katherine) of Tyler, Texas and daughter Nancy L. Mars (husband Robert) of Superior, Colorado; grandsons, Benjamin Mars and Russell Kollaja; granddaughter Sarah J. Mars; 9 nieces and 10 nephews and several grandnieces and grandnephews; his sister Martha Krejci; brother Frank L. Kollaja (wife Betty Ann) and sister-in-law Mary Kollaja, all of Corpus Christi, Texas. Al graduated from Corpus Christi High School in 1942 and enlisted in the U.S. Air force, 8th Air Force, 457th Bomb Group, in 1943. He flew B-17's as a 1st Lieutenant and also B-51's and A-26's. He received the Air Medal and 1 Battle Star. After his discharge from the Air Force, Al attended Southern Methodist University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology in 1951. He was then employed by Ohio/Marathon Oil Company for 30 years and lived in Bismarck, North Dakota.; Wichita Falls, Texas; Roswell, New Mexico and Midland, Texas. In 1980 he joined American Land & Exploration and in 1984 he became a Consulting Geologist. He was a member of St. Ann's Catholic Church. He was an active member for many years of KJT; AAPG; Sipes; WTGS; NMGS and 8th Air Force Historical Society. Al was deeply involved in his family's genealogy and was continually updating his family tree. He was very proud of his Czech heritage and spoke fluent Czech. He made many trips to the Czech Republic. Al was preceded in death by his first wife Joyce Hawkins Kollaja; his father and mother, John L. & Sophie Vasut Kollaja; and his brothers Albert and Edward Kollaja. Family will welcome friends to a visitation from 6-8 pm on Friday, October 25, 2013 with a rosary at 7 pm at Ellis Funeral Home Midland, Texas. Mass will be said at 10 am on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Midland. Burial will be in Corpus Christi, Texas, at Seaside Cemetery at 1:00 pm, Monday, October 28, 2013. On line condolences may be offered at www.ellisfunerals.com.
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Published in Midland Reporter-Telegram on Oct. 23, 2013