Kolb, Joseph E.Died
Jesuit Father Joseph E. Kolb, a long time math and physics professor at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, W. Va., died Oct. 17, 2012, at Good Shepherd Nursing Home in Wheeling. Fr. Kolb, who was 89, was a Jesuit for 60 years and priest for 49 years.
Joseph Edward Kolb, the son of Edna Brown and Albert A. Kolb, of Swissvale, near Pittsburgh, was born Nov. 19, 1922. Following graduation from Edgewood High School, Pittsburgh, in 1940, he went to the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1944. After a year of study at St. Philip Neri School for delayed vocations in Boston, he entered the novitiate at St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, Pa., in 1952. He pronounced First Vows on Feb. 2, 1955.
He earned masters degrees in physics (1959) and mathematics (1971) from Saint Louis (Missouri) University, where he also earned his licentiate in philosophy in 1958. His studies continued at Woodstock College in Woodstock, Md., where he earned his bachelor’s degree in sacred theology in 1964.
Fr. Kolb was ordained to the priesthood June 16, 1963, at Woodstock College. He first arrived at Wheeling as a scholastic, to serve as professor of physics and math for a year in 1959. After additional studies and ordination, Fr. Kolb returned to Wheeling in 1965. In 1972 he began the first of two international assignments. He went first to Belize to teach math at St. John’s College. In 1976, he traveled to Katmandu in Nepal, where he taught math at St. Xavier’s Godavari School. In 1978, Fr. Kolb returned to the United States as retreat director at the Loyola Retreat House in Faulkner, Md. In 1985, he was reassigned to Wheeling. He led retreats and served as house treasurer before returning as a math professor in 1986. Fr. Kolb left the classroom in 2000, but continued his work as retreat director and treasurer until his death. After he retired from teaching, Fr. Kolb is remembered for turning his daily visits to the Howard Long Wellness Center at Wheeling Hospital into a sort of apostolate, dispensing jokes and encouragement to his many friends there.
Fr. Kolb is survived by two nephews.