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In Loving Memory

Kolaks, Thelma Mae

THELMA MAE BIVINS KOLAKS, started her journey 02-07-1921 and ended 12-10-2021.

She left eldest son, Edmond D. (Sonny) Kolaks and wife Elaine, grandchild Melissa K. Kolaks Broaddus and husband John, grandchild Jeffery E. Kolaks and wife Julie.  Left youngest son, Adrien (Terry) T. Kolaks, grandchild Jeremy J. Kolaks and wife Sandie, grandson Joshua J. Kolaks, great grandson Carson S. Kolaks.  Left grandchild Paul E. Cook, son of Judy E. Kolaks Cook Woolard and great grandchild Allissa E. Cook.  Left her niece Frances Ann Kennon Shipman, daughter of Mary Frances.

Thelma Kolaks was proceeded in death by her husband Edmond Dale Kolaks, 2004, her eldest daughter Jane Kolaks, 1944 and youngest daughter Judy E. Kolaks Cook Woolard, 2019.

Thelma’s mother, Mary Jane Hall Bivins, and sisters Gladys Pearl Bivins Andhal, Mary Frances Bivins Kennon Deramus had proceeded Thelma in death.

Thelma Bivins and Edmond Kolaks started a partnership in marriage, February 1941 that had launched Kolaks’ Market and revived Pontiac Lodge before retiring back to the St. Louis area.

Thelma began her life in Flat River, now known as Park Hills, MO.  She had worked for the St. Louis Browns baseball club and the Augie Busch family household.  She worked in a munitions plant during WWII, gave birth to two daughters and a son in the forties, began a grocery store business with husband Edmond, and gave birth to another son in the fifties.  Thelma operated and maintained Pontiac Lodge and after Kolaks’ Market was sold, Edmond supported Thelma by assisting her with Pontiac Lodge and fishing every day.  After the sale of Pontiac Lodge, the couple retired and traveled until Edmond’s death.  Like her husband, Thelma also caught lunker size fish and was more than happy to put a worm on a hook to catch dinner.

Thelma suffered through the administrations of Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barak Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden.

Thelma also endured the Great Depression, a World War and numerous policing actions and distant military conflicts.  Thelma heard with the rest of the nation when two atomic bombs were exploded over two enemy cities, heard about the sound barrier being broken, the assignation of JFK and watched on television astronauts not only fly around the moon but land and walk on the moon.

Thelma worked 12+ hours a day, 5 and 6 days a week at Kolaks Market nearly 20 years and operating and cleaning Pontiac Lodge for more than 10 years, all the time keeping up her skills playing the Organ and Piano for the members of the churches she attended in Pontiac, Mo., Arnold, Mo., the fellow residents of Tesson Heights, St. Louis, Mo., and her family.

Thelma enjoyed fishing, especially all-night trout fishing and for many years was the captain of her Tuesday bowling league, sponsored by Kolaks Market.  Thelma painted landscapes, she quilted, made the best biscuits and gravy and assembled puzzles like a pro.  She was a serious fan of the Saint Louis Cardinals to the point of quoting stats and had an RCA Sweet 16 black and white television sitting across the aisle from her workstation in Kolaks Market expressly to watch Cardinal baseball at work.

Thelma Mae Bivins became Thelma Mae Bivins Kolaks five days before her 20th birthday and remained Mrs. Thelma Mae Bivins Kolaks, 80 years, 10 months, and 8 days.  There is not enough room or time to report Thelma’s life experiences of 100 years, 10 months, and 3 days.

Thelma is to be interned with her husband Edmond in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

*If you wish to send flowers, Kutis Funeral Home, Inc., 5255 Lemay Ferry Road, Mehlville, Mo. 63129, however you wish to donate to your favorite charity, please do so on behave of Thelma Kolaks or donate to Thelma’s favorite charity, The Baptist Home Foundation, PO Box 87, Ironton, MO. 63650

Visitation at Kutis South County Chapel 5255 Lemay Ferry Road Thursday, December 16, 2021, 10am until service 12pm.  Interment Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.


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