Raymond Reinhold Kolb d 20 January 2001

Ray Kolb was born 4 March, 1919, in Date, South Dakota, the second of nine children of Rudolph and Amelia (Hintz) Kolb.  Rudolph was a German from Russia, as were Amelia’s parents.  In 1920, the family lived in Duell Township, Perkins County, SD.  Rudolph was a homesteader, and lived adjacent to the homestead of Amelia’s brother John C Hintz.  The family was listed there in 1930, and soon after, purchased John’s land so they could move to California.

Raymond R. Kolb learned to fly in 1939-40 in the Civilian Pilot Training program in Spearfish and continued training at Ft. Collins, CO. He taught flying in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. Ray began learning aircraft maintenance in 1940 as an apprentice mechanic at Spearfish.

In 1943, he married Betty Crawford, and they had three children. 

After WWII he moved to Lemmon to work at Lemmon Aircraft Company. In late 1947-early 1948 he purchased Lemmon Aircraft Company in partnership with his brother Arnold who sold his interest in the business in 1956. Raymond continued to run Lemmon Aircraft Company until he sold it in 1975. Ray ran a full-service maintenance shop, and earned his A&P license in 1968 and inspection authorization in 1971. He continued to work at Lemmon Aircraft Company until 1977. From 1977 to 1989 he worked with his brother Arnold at Black Hills Aviation on fire-fighting aircraft, which he also co-piloted. After retiring in 1989 he continued to work on aircraft at Lemmon. Between 1947 and 1984 Ray was a CAA/FAA pilot examiner, and logged in excess of 22,975 hours of flight time. Lemmon Airport was renamed Ray Kolb Airport in his honor in 1997. Raymond was inducted into the SD Aviation Hall of Fame in 1997.

Ray died 20 January, 2001, in Lemmon SD.


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