John Lyon Kolbe, 88, of Spokane, Wash., passed away on Wednesday (June 10, 2015) at the Willow Grove Home, Spokane.
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He was born on Dec. 16, 1926, in Bradford, a son of the late William and Alice Kauffman Kolbe.
He was a 1945 graduate of the Bradford Area High School and a 1951 graduate of the Carnegie Institute of Technology where he earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering; he also graduated from Loyola University where he earned his MBA.
He served in the Army as a sergeant during World War II from 1945 to 1946 and in the Army Reserves as a captain from 1951 to 1968.
On June 24, 1947, he married Helen Marie Kahle, who survives.
During his career he worked for Pittsburgh Corning Corp. in Port Allegany; Northwest Beryllium Mines, Rapid City, S.D.; W.R. Grace & Co., Clarksville, Md. and Martin-Marietta, Baltimore, Md., as a chemical engineer, retiring in 1993.
Mr. Kolbe developed several processes for paint additives and smoke stack scrubbers while working for W.R. Grace & Co., which holds the patents to these processes. He was also the original inventor of Flubber.
While living in Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Ohio and Maryland, Mr. Kolbe enjoyed spending his free time hunting, fishing and beekeeping. He also had an interest in guns, locksmithing, military history and aviation.
In addition to his wife of 52 years, Helen Kahle Kolbe, he is also survived by his children, Karen D. Kolbe, John L. Kolbe, Kevin W. Kolbe and Jeffrey K. Kolbe; one brother, William Kolbe; grandchildren, Amanda L. Kolbe and Andrew I. Kolbe and great-granddaughter, Lilly Beth, who was born on June 8, 2015.
Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at McKean Memorial Park, Lafayette, with the Rev. Rick Price, pastor of the Church of Christ, officiating. Military honors and interment are to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Horizon Hospice, 123 West Cascade Way, Suite A, Spokane WA 99208 would be appreciated.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care of the Mascho Funeral Home Inc.
Online condolences can be expressed at www.maschofuneral.com
Mascho Funeral Home Inc.
75 Kennedy Street
Bradford, PA 16701
Published in The Bradford Era from June 17 to June 24, 2015