On February 18, 2011, Harold Earl Kolling went home to God. Harold was born June 13, 1920, in Wichita, Kansas, the older son of Ernestine and Henry Kolling. His childhood years were spent divided between Wichita and the Buckley Family homestead in Cloud County, near Ames, Kansas.
1933 was a turning point in Harold’s life. The family made an extended car trip to Chicago to attend the World’s Fair. Harold had submitted a small exhibit, which had been accepted in the Kansas exhibit at the fair, and he kept a journal of his trip. At the age of 13 Harold fell in love with Chicago and its history and determined to spend the rest of his life studying history.
Harold received his B.A. in history from Friends University. He earned a M.A. degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Chicago. While in Chicago he was the Associate Editor of “the papers of James Madison”, and he wrote a chapter in the 3rd Volume of, “A History of Chicago: the Rise of the Modern City 1871-1893”, by Bessie Louise Pierce. During his career he was a teacher and academic dean at Friends University, Wichita University, Oklahoma City University, DePauw, and Texas College.
In 1977, Baker University President, Gerald Walker, a former student of Harold’s, invited him to Baker University, Baldwin City, Kansas, where he established the Ernestine Buckley Trust to endow a chair in the history department. He was appointed University Historian and worked as Archivist at the Baker University Library. He compiled the facts and information to write a history of Baker University. Many other academic institutions received his support over the years of his life.
While at Baker University, Harold taught and mentored scores of students, many of whom went on to have successful careers. Harold believed an education to be the most import accomplishment anyone could achieve and he devoted his entire adult life to helping others reach their goals.
He was an avid reader and amassed an enormous personal library encompassing all aspects of American History. With his inquiring mind he found infinite delight and interest in all the details of life. He believed that in order for society to progress it was imperative we study the history of our past, and all of our collective individual personal histories then create a history for future generations.
His family includes two nieces, Annette Kolling-Buckley and Elizabeth Buckley, great-niece Manessa, great-nephew Clayton, plus a great-great-niece Kaitlyn. Harold is also survived by his extended Baker University family, friends Annie and Darell Bowersox and their children, and Louise Cummings-Simmons and David Simmons. A modest and humble man, Harold felt blessed to have such a large extended family and friends who loved and admired him. Harold was preceded in death by his parents and brother Orland. Harold requested his body be donated to medical service and that there be no memorial service. At a later date he will be buried between his mother and brother in Cloud County, Kansas.
Donations may be made to the Huber Kolling Scholarship fund at Southwestern College, Office of Institutional Advancement, 100 College Street, Winfield, KS. A special thank you goes to Sue Brown and the staff at Vintage Park, for the care and kindness they provided Harold during his last year.
Messages & Condolences
Dr. Kolling will be missed. He was a great man. Among his many apparent passions was Baker’s soccer team. He attended every home game while I played from ’86-’89. He attened many more after I graduated. I often drove him home after games and we had many great conversations. He frequently wroite me over summer vacation to see how I was doing. I’ve never met such an intelligent, unassuming and compassionate gentleman.
My condolences to the family and the extend family….You are all in my prayer’s.
I never got to meet him, he was my cousin, and I had reconnect with him in the last few years. He will be missed!!!
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