James "Jim" Francis Kolbeck

May 8, 1946


James Francis Kolbeck passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 26, 2021, in Manitowoc, Wisconsin at age 75.

Jim was born in Manitowoc on May 8, 1946, to Anabel Koss Kolbeck and Francis Kolbeck.  He was preceded in death by both birth parents, as well as by his second mother Patricia Schmeisser Kolbeck, who raised him and loved him most dearly.  He was also pre-deceased by infant brother Francis Kolbeck and by sister Elizabeth Kolbeck. 

Jim is survived by brother Andrew Kolbeck (Mary Alvey Kolbeck) of Boulder, Colorado, sister Kathleen Kolbeck (Gary Vogel) of Mound, Minnesota, sister Mary Hogue of Wausau, Wisconsin, brother-in-law Dr. Richard Hopf of Portola Valley, California, and cousin Renee Forrest of Madison, Wisconsin, as well as by a number of nieces and nephews and great nieces and great nephews.

Jim grew up in Manitowoc and was happy to live his whole life there, where he had many loyalties and connections across the whole community.  Among his favorites were Lincoln High School, where he was a proud member of the class of 1966, and the Catholic Church community in the town.  As a child, Jim enjoyed family camping in Wisconsin and on multiple car excursions across the country; in later years, he became an enthusiastic reader of World War II histories.  And of course, as all who knew him were aware, Jim was a diehard Packer fan his whole life, having attended games at Lambeau Field with his father during the Lombardi years.  Jim had a 43-year-long association with Holiday House of Manitowoc (now called Ascend Services), and he was a long-term resident at Kindred Hearts of Manitowoc. 

Jim was blessed to live in a deeply caring and supportive place that embodies the best ideals of community.  His extraordinary support system included numerous people and multiple organizations in Manitowoc that underpinned and helped care for him through the many medical challenges he faced during his life. 

His family wishes to thank all his friends and supporters across the Manitowoc community, including the staffs at Lakeland Care, at River’s Bend Nursing Home, at St. Croix Hospice, and at Holy Family Memorial Hospital.  (A notable connection in Jim’s life is that both his mothers were RNs who had received their original nursing training in the 1930s at Holy Family Hospital.)

We are immensely grateful to the staff and friends at Holiday House and Kindred Hearts for making those places a home for Jim.

Special thanks to Jim’s good friend and caregiver Debbi Wolter, who was always there for Jim during many years, through thick and thin.

A funeral mass will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church on Grand Avenue (1416 Grand Avenue, Manitowoc, WI. 54220)—the former St. Andrew’s where Jim attended elementary school — at 11:00 AM on Thursday, June 3, 2021.  Organ music will be provided by cousin Renee Forrest.  Burial will follow at the family plot in Calvary Cemetery.

The family will greet relatives and friends on Thursday, June 3, 2021 at St. Francis of Assisi on Grand, Manitowoc, from 9:00 AM until the time of service at 11:00 AM.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions in Jim’s memory might be made to Ascend Services, Inc. (formerly Holiday House).

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family by visiting

The Pfeffer Funeral Home, Manitowoc, is assisting the Kolbeck family with funeral arrangements.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James "Jim" Francis Kolbeck, please visit our floral store.


June 3, 2021

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Francis of Assisi on Grand
1416 Grand Avenue
Manitowoc, WI 54220

Mass of Christian Burial
June 3, 2021

11:00 AM
St. Francis of Assisi on Grand
1416 Grand Avenue
Manitowoc, WI 54220

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