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Karl William Kolbe ’48

Published in Jan. 24, 2007, issue

The class was very fortunate, even blessed, to have had Bill Kolbe at its center. It was not just what Bill did for the class and for Princeton; it was more the aura that was Bill. It was the kindness and thoughtfulness that emanated from him as well as his gift for friendship. It is no wonder he was so widely admired and held in such great affection.

Bill was our president from 1983 to 1988. He served Annual Giving. There was never a moment he wasn’t involved in class initiatives.

Bill came to us from The Hill School. He was involved with the Triangle show and graced Cottage. He went to the University of Virginia Law School and was managing editor of its Law Review. While at law school, he and Barbara Bogart (who predeceased him) were married, with Tony Carter as best man and Mosie Gates and Joe Sheerer ushering. Bill joined Reed & Priest, where he practiced tax law for the rest of his life “trying to keep people out of trouble.”

Alas, two weeks after his 80th birthday, Bill died of cancer early in the morning of Oct. 15, 2006. The class extends its compassion to his widow, Patsy, and children Kim, Buzz, and Katie. Their loss is shared by so many of us who feel blessed at having counted Bill as friend.

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