Obituary of Richard B. Kolbas
Personal & Family Richard Kolbas was born in Lockport, NY on Christmas day in 1945, to Grace and Ervin Kolbas, to join his older sister Judith. Richard grew up in Kenmore, NY, graduating from Kenmore East High School in 1963. Two years later while in college; Richard met his future wife Susan Garvey at the Lincoln park swimming pool. While working at Mike’s Sub shop, he left Susan sandwiches in her doorway in the early morning. her brother Ron made them his breakfast on more than one occasion. Richard and Susan married on December 27th, 1969, while he was in the Navy. in 1971 they began to build a family with the birth of David, and in 1973 with Jeffrey. Three years later the family moved to Michigan. He instilled a sense of adventure in his children and taught them to have faith in themselves to face any obstacle in life. Richard loved Snow skiing, aviation, Boating, Water skiing, and gardening. He involved his sons with many projects he was working on and taught them many life skills. Their sons later would bless them with four grandchildren; Megan (19), Noah (13), Greyson (5), and Quentin (2), giving them many fond family memories to cherish. After retiring in 2003, Richard moved back to New York State to rejoin his family and settled in Alden, NY. Living on the lake provided a great atmosphere for him to teach his grandchildren Boating and fishing. Fifteen years later they moved to East Aurora. Education Richard received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1968 at the University of Buffalo where he was a member of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. In 1972 he obtained is professional Engineer License in New York. In 1990 he earned his Master’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Michigan. (Go Blue) In 2010 he updated his professional Engineering license for New York and Massachusetts at the University of Buffalo. Richard was always a very caring and supportive husband. encouraging Susan to teach again by her earning her Master’s in Education at Eastern Michigan University. Military Service He then enlisted into the US Navy in 1968 upon completion of college. There he achieved the rank of Radioman 2nd Class Petty Officer, member of the Admirals Staff in Norfolk Virginia, where he worked on the USS Algol and USS Francis Marion. His served during the Vietnam war. Using his GI Bill, Richard become a licensed private pilot with commercial and instrument ratings. Career In 1972, His career kicked off in electrical engineering at Niagara Mohawk Power at the Dunkirk Steam Station as the Assistant General Foreman. In 1976, he continued his career with Ford Motor Company until 2003 in Dearborn, Michigan. While he was working for the Ford Motor Company he contributed to many electrical, battery and manufacturer designs that has propelled the industry forward today. After retiring, he worked part-time as an Engineering Consultant for Everett Engineering in New York. He also worked as a tax preparer for HR Block and Saul Glaser Accounting Firm Community Service Richard was a founding member of the Yankee Air Force Museum in the Van Buren, Michigan. The family spent many volunteer hours cleaning the museum hanger and fundraising for the restoration of World War II aircraft. During his time at Ford Motor Company, he was an organizer for the “Toys for Tots” program and ensured many families had a wonderful Christmas. He was a softball coach in his son’s cub scout organization for five years. he volunteered his engineering skills for technical support to service the water and electrical supply for Highland Glens Community in Alden, New York. Finally, Richard was a volunteer docent at Pierce Arrow car Museum in Buffalo, NY where he would give tours and interact with visitors for many years. Interests Richard had a small flying business called “The Red Baron” and build flight time hours by supplying friends and family with live Maine lobsters. Keen interest in the Experimental Aviation Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and often attended many conventions and air shows. Richard went on to build his own airplane, a Searay Amphibious Aircraft, with his friend Tracy Lanciano, in almost seven years. During which he appeared on local television, showing the challenges and techniques of building an airplane at home. Richard enjoyed many travels around the world. He flew his family to Vermont, New York, Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean. He traveled via Cruises and Land Trips around the USA, Mexico, Europe, Panama, Japan, China, Egypt, Turkey, the Baltic and his favorite, Italy. Richard Kolbas was a passionate man with a lust for life who never wanted to stop learning and read about history. He will be missed dearly by those who he inspired to keep moving forward through innovation and adventure. May those that remember him, reflect on a life that was lived to the fullest. Richard Kolbas Ford Motor Company Dearborn, Michigan 1976-2003 •1976-Body Engineering-Design and Release of Electrical Components •1985-1990 Alpha Project Simultaneous Engineering •1990 Taurus- Relay design and electrical distribution. -Sodium Sulfur Battery for Ecostar Electrical Vehicle for 7th wave of electrical vehicles which had a range of approaching 300 miles. Since the early 1900’s Henry Ford and Thomas Edison worked on electrical vehicles together to scale and manufacture large numbers of them for the road. Today, electrical vehicles are in their 9th wave thanks to people like Richard. •1999- Involved in the THINK electrical vehicle, that was built in Norway and shipped worldwide in 2001. Also involved in the THINK Neighbor, the Ford Golf Cart. •Expert at Ford in Electrical Distribution, High Voltage Relay design, High Voltage Connections, battery management, High Voltage safety strategies, High Voltage fuse designs which were ideas developed for the company unpatented for the progress of the industry in electrical vehicles. •Richard does hold some patents in his designs. Kolbas, Richard B. September 14, 2021 of East Aurora, NY (formerly of Plymouth, MI). Beloved husband of Susan M. (nee Garvey) Kolbas; devoted father of David (Holly Tucker) and Jeffrey (Nastassia) Kolbas; cherished grandfather of Megan, Noah, Greyson, and Quentin Kolbas; loving brother of Dr. Judith Kolbas; also survived by nieces and nephews. Friends received on Monday from 1 – 5 PM at LAKESIDE MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME, INC. 4199 Lake Shore Rd. (corner Camp Rd. & Rte. 5) Hamburg, NY 716-627-2919, where a funeral service will immediately follow at 5 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice Buffalo. Please leave online donations and condolencesat www.LakesideFuneralHome.com.
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Monday, September 20, 2021
Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home, Inc. - Hamburg, NY
4199 Lake Shore Road
Hamburg, New York, United States