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Chester J. Kolber

September 24, 1928 ~ November 23, 2018 (age 90)

Chet Kolber of South Bend, Indiana went to be with the Lord on November 23, 2018.


He was born on September 24, 1928 to Joseph and Anastasia (Babinski) Kolber of South Bend.


After graduating from Washington High School in 1947 where he lettered in Football, he worked for the FBI in Washington DC, briefly attended the University of Detroit then returned to South Bend joining the South Bend Police Department in 1950.  He was promoted to corporal in 1958 and Sergeant in 1960.


He married Vivian Prentkowski Kolber on May 6, 1950 at Holy Family Church where they remained parishioners for 68 years.


Throughout his career Chet received numerous commendations and was highly respected for his high level of professionalism, integrity, fairness and genuine concern for others. Police work was his lifetime calling.


Mid-career he received Bachelor and Master degrees in Education from Indiana University, South Bend.


In 1970 he was assigned to the Police Academy as an instructor serving trainees from Goshen, Mishawaka, Michigan City, South Bend and St Joseph County, and in 1973 was named Training Coordinator for the South Bend Regional Academy.  In 1973 he was promoted to Captain and named Director of the Academy.  One of his legacies is the number of fine officers that entered police work during his tenure.


In 1977 he retired from the Police Department and joined Memorial Hospital as their first head of Safety and Security where he stayed for 15 years.


He also taught Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement classes at St. Mary’s College and Lake Michigan College and was a popular professor with his students.


Chet was a life-long Fighting Irish football fan, and he and Vivian were avid supporters of Notre Dame Women’s basketball where they held season tickets for many years.


In addition to membership in the Fraternal Order of Police and the Knights of Columbus, he was an annual participant in the men’s December retreat at St Meinrad’s, and frequently encouraged others to attend.


Besides a busy career, his family was a high priority and he enjoyed spending time with his wife and children and later his grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Chet and Vivian traveled frequently and enjoyed summers at Birch Lake in Vandalia, Michigan. Their cottage on Birch Lake holds many memories of great family times.


Chet is survived by his wife Vivian, a son Chris (Barbara) Kolber of Wadsworth, IL, a daughter Dr. Sharon Kolber (Gerry Burkhard) of Heber City, UT,  six grandchildren: Kathryn (Joel) Yeldell of Olathe, KS, Brendan (Aundi) Kolber, of Castle Rock, CO, Stephen (Christine) Barchick, of Durham, NC, Anna (David) Scherer of Racine, WI, Bethany (Aaron) Golden of Effingham, IL, Matthew Barchick of Arlington, VA, and a step-granddaughter Ashley Burkhard Grimes of Garnet Valley, PA.  His great grandchildren include William, Nora, Matia, Jude, Ralston, Olive and Miriam, and step great grandchildren Alexa and Onyx.


Chet was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Stella Dulcet and Phyllis Kusz and a daughter Kathleen (Dave) Barchick.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, December 1, 2018 in Holy Family Church. A visitation will be held from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Friday in the Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive, where a rosary will be prayed at 4:30 p.m.


Memorial Contributions may be directed to Holy Family School.


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