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Discussion: Karl Kolva

in: Orienteering; General

Apr 6, 2021 2:36 PM # 
ROC members were saddened to hear yesterday of the passing of long time member Karl Kolva. He and his wife Mary were living with their daughter in Salamanca, New York for the past few years. Karl was a retired Kodak engineer, a WWII veteran and a key person to the development of ROC. After he retired he spent many years and much of his time making local maps and instructing school and Scout groups. Karl never said no to a request for a map or a clinic. As an engineer he was always constructing signs and other equipment for the club. He was in charge of the finish line at the WOC in 1993.
His most significant contribution to orienteering in the US was his work on the Orienteering in the Schools program. With Meg Garrett and others on the committee they published a guide for teachers that was distributed widely within the orienteering community. The book is still available today, Orienteering and Map Games For Teachers.
Karl was an avid competitor well into his 80s. In later years as he was aging, he and Mary still attended many of our local meets and often brought along cookies and cakes that Mary baked at home.
Karl has punched the finish control but we will always remember him.
Apr 6, 2021 6:51 PM # 
Age 98, if I'm not mistaken.
Apr 6, 2021 10:07 PM # 
Thank you for posting. Karl will be missed.
Apr 6, 2021 11:42 PM # 
Very sorry to hear of the passing of Karl Kolva. Thank you, Rick, for your writeup above about his many contributions to orienteering. He will truly be missed, but well remembered.
Apr 7, 2021 12:36 AM # 
Thanks, Rick, for the very nice overview of Karl's contributions to our club and orienteering in general. As Sharon said, he will be well remembered.
Apr 7, 2021 1:01 AM # 
Very sad news indeed. As Rick said, Karl was very instrumental in the Orienteering in Schools effort and in working with Meg to produce the Orienteering and Map Games For Teachers book, which, several reprints and a few updates later, is still available thru Orienteering USA (contact me for info on ordering the book).

Karl will certainly be missed. He was always friendly, happy, and always ready to talk about introducing young people to our sport.
Apr 7, 2021 1:15 AM # 
a short article by Karl, and a longer one that tells more about him and a Rochester club school program, from the July 2002 Orienteering North America magazine.
Apr 7, 2021 1:40 AM # 
Mike, Thank you for posting that 'short article' which is put together with four pages of ONA including a second article by Karl titled 'Some Additional Food for Thought'.
That additional food for though may sometimes and for some people just be glossed over.
However right now representatives from many O-USA clubs are discussing the issue of marketing orienteering. The discussion seems to be circling around building a better website but there in his article Karl hit the nail on the head about what is marketing and how our messages can or should be tailored to our target market. I hope everyone involved in that club marketing group will take the time to read this 19 year old wisdom from Karl Kolva. Thank you again Mike for bringing us this 'advice from beyond.'
Apr 7, 2021 6:20 PM # 
Karl is the epitome of the unsung hero of an orienteering club. A person who does many duties to keep a club running smoothly. I know ROC will miss him and Mary at every meet.
Apr 8, 2021 12:39 PM # 
Complete Obit for Karl. A life well lived.;
Apr 8, 2021 5:44 PM # 
A link to the obituary on a different site.
Apr 8, 2021 5:58 PM # 
At first I thought that "final flight" was actually one last flight before Karl's passing...

Didn't realize it was (very) metaphorical until I couldn't find anything else regarding the date of death.

RIP Karl -- and thank you!
Apr 9, 2021 1:08 AM # 
Sad. Karl was an unassuming, but important, member of our community. His project to have orienteering included in school curriculums was ambitious, and fundamentally different than our scouting project. I fondly recall his OUSA article about my ‘missing’ dot that had caused him an error. He gave a pivotal speech at the USOF convention that transformed discussion about the then controversial 1993 WOC from go-no go to succeed-fail. His contributions and effect on our community significantly exceed our community awareness of them today. The loss of Karl is our loss.

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