Kolbeck, Steven Michael
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Steven Michael Kolbeck, 51, died Saturday, February 8, 2014 from complications of a Traumatic Brain Injury at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. Steve was born on January 22, 1963 in Wausau and just enjoyed celebrating his last birthday.
Steve grew up in Wausau and graduated from Wausau West High School in 1981. He was a very talented artist and musician in his early years. He had his own band, "Nada Dada", and they wrote all their own music. During high school, he had artwork on display at Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. His goal was to major in art and someday teach art to disabled children.
In 1990, Steve was a college student at UW - Milwaukee. In an instant, Steve's life was forever changed when he made the decision to get on the back of a motorcycle one night in early March. After a very short ride, they were hit by a driver who was being chased by police in a high-speed pursuit. It was a true miracle Steve survived that tragedy. After years of rehab, Steve was able to live independently and work at Northern Valley Workshop. He was able to be independent for so long because of the hard work and loving care of his mother, Elaine. Most recently, he was living at the Circle of Love, Assisted Living Home in Weston.
We had Steve for 24 years more than we ever expected after his accident. And yet when the end came so unexpectedly, we were not ready to say good bye to him. Steve was such a special blessing to us all; he was always happy and brought us immense joy. He loved his family very much and cherished the times spent with them. Steve enjoyed life to the fullest, in spite of his limitations. Everyone he interacted with grew to know him and love him.
Steve left behind a large loving family. He is survived by his mother, Elaine (Klemp) Carpenter, Rib Mountain; two sisters, Linda (William) Kent, Weston and her children, Sam (Allie) Kent, Hawaii and Sarah (Keith) Sumner, Wausau and granddaughters Emily Johnson and Caitlyn Sumner, Wausau; Debby (Donald) Narloch, Rothschild and her children, Bradey (Erin) Narloch, Duluth, MN and Bethany Narloch, Wausau and grandchildren, Hunter and Addison Narloch, Duluth, MN; one brother, Michael (Mary) Kolbeck, Weston and his children, Morgan Kolbeck, Madison and Mason Kolbeck, Weston; and 3 step-sisters, Pam (Cliff McGilvary) Carpenter, South Carolina; Kitty (Mike Kleinschmidt) Kramer, Merrill and her children Richard (Mary) Kramer, Brooklyn, WI, David (Tina) Kramer, Rib Mountain, Tom Kramer, Wausau, Matthew Kramer, DePere, WI and grandchildren Connor and Kellan Kramer, Brooklyn, WI, Jake, Josh and Brianna Kramer, Rib Mountain, Nathan, Tyler, and Cory Kramer, Wausau and Alli Kramer, DePere; Deb (Craig) Mortensen, Kronenwetter and her children, Dana Mortensen, Kronenwetter and Christopher Mortensen, Iowa and grandsons Roman and Rex Schmirler, Kronenwetter.
He was preceded in death by his father, Raymond Kolbeck, his step-father, Wilfred Carpenter, maternal grandparents, John, Olga, and Elsie Klemp, paternal grandparents Albert, Agnes, and Isora Kolbeck and an infant sister, Diane.
A Memorial Service will be celebrated on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 11am at Saint Andrew Lutheran Church, 3200 North Mountain Rd., Rib Mountain. The Reverend Craig Swenson will officiate. Visitation will be held at 10 am until the time of the service. The burial will be at a later date. Brainard Funeral Home, Wausau is assisting the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be directed to Saint Andrew Lutheran Church or Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Rothschild.
The family wishes to express special thanks to all the staff at Northern Valley Workshop who gave Steve a purpose in life; Greg, his loyal friend and bowling buddy who was always there for Steve and showed him he could still have fun; Sarah and Daniella from Community Care who coordinated his care and truly cared about him; Terri and Micki and all the staff at Circle of Love who provided him with an amazing place to live where people took excellent care of him and became 'family' in such a short time; to all the palliative care staff, especially Denise, Patty, Kathy, Kari, Susan, Dawn, Todd, Ashley, and Toni who kept him comfortable during his last hours and Shelly who came to care for him at the very end and brought her special calming presence and to Pastor Craig and Pastor Jeff from Saint Andrew and Pastor Rich from Mt. Calvary who gave the family loving support through this time.
Brainard Funeral Home and Cremation Center
522 Adams Street
Wausau, WI 54403
Published in the Wausau Daily Herald on Feb. 12, 2014