Cover photo for Irmalee Kolb's Obituary
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Irmalee Kolb

August 12, 1925 — November 6, 2023



Irmalee (Thomas) Kolb passed away peacefully in Vinita, Oklahoma on November 6, 2023, at age 98. She was born on August 12th, 1925, in Meramac, Oklahoma to G.C. and Elizabeth Thomas, the third of four children. Her family moved to nearby Pawnee while Irmalee was in grade school, and where her father owned and operated the Thomas General Store. Irmalee would graduate Pawnee High School in 1942, just as World War II began. During the war, she attended Oklahoma University and majored in Journalism. Because most boys were on active duty in the military, women were allowed to live in the temporarily vacant fraternity houses. Not surprisingly, she was one of the few women ever elected president of a fraternity at OU. When the war ended, her high school sweetheart and hometown football hero, James ‘Jim’ Kolb, would return from military service and attend OU, where he briefly played for the Sooners. The two were later married on January 13, 1946, in the First United Methodist Church of Pawnee. Upon graduation, Irmalee worked as a journalist in Oklahoma City for The Daily Oklahoman, writing headlines for the news stories of the day. The couple then moved to Cushing, and later Ponca City, following Jim’s new career with Conoco. In 1957, Jim was named manager of the newly completed Conoco properties on the new Will Rogers Turnpike: The Glass House Restaurant with its two Conoco service stations in Vinita, and a third service station in Miami. When the youngest of her four children started kindergarten in 1966, Irmalee became a full-time English teacher at Vinita High School, where she taught for almost 30 years. She taught the classics of English literature and the Greek Mythology, along with works of modern fiction, methods of research, and many more. Her students were encouraged to read for enjoyment, to write with creativity, and to follow their dreams. In retirement, Irmalee enjoyed reading, volunteering in her church and community, travelling with her sister Myrtle, and most of all spending time with her family. She never missed her grandchildren’s activities, and celebrated their achievements the loudest. She was also a passionate sports fan, loyal to her beloved Vinita Hornets and Oklahoma Sooners. Irmalee is preceded in death by her husband Jim, son James Thomas Kolb (Vicki), and siblings Myrtle Thomas, Howard Thomas, and Robert Thomas. She is survived by son William Curtis Kolb (Kathy) of Pryor, OK; daughter Elizabeth Ann Williams (Jeff) of Vinita; son David Holmes Kolb (Dee Ann) of Muskogee, as well as eight grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, November 11th, at the First United Methodist Church in Vinita at 10:00 a.m., followed by a graveside service at 3:00 p.m. in Pawnee, OK. Services are under the direction of Luginbuel Funeral Home of Vinita. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Neighbors Helping Neighbors of Vinita, and their backpack program for families in need.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, November 11, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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First United Methodist Church

314 W Canadian Ave
Vinita, OK 74301

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Graveside Service

Saturday, November 11, 2023

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

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Highland cemetery

Pawnee, OK 74058

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