Herman Kolb receives his monetary prize for being the oldest person at the Great Darke County Fair on Monday morning from, the left, Dave Singer of the Darke County Agricultural Society and Jennifer and Gregory Peck from Gregory Peck Sound Service, sponsors of the award. Jennifer, too, passed away three weeks ago and will also be missed. (Linda Moody file photo)

Life’s Reflections: Reigning ‘oldest fair-goer’ Kolb was a proud farmer

I was sad to learn that Herman Kolb, of Rossburg, recently passed away.

Little did we know the 2021 Great Darke County Fair would be the last one for him; however, he passed away May 11, at age 108, with his reign of “Oldest  Fair-Goer” ending as well.

Herman, a proud human being and farmer, came to the fairgrounds at age 107 last year on Monday of the fair with daughter Elaine and signed up for the traditional oldest person contest.

Herman had also competed before, being one of the oldest winners in 2019 as well.

I became acquainted with Herman quite a few years ago when I visited his home to interview him on a milestone birthday. In fact, I have visited there twice, I’m thinking, plus I had the pleasure of witnessing him get the title of oldest person last year.

He moved to Rossburg in 1957, and bought the farm once owned by Robert Ross,  one of the founders of Rossburg. His wife, Joyce, is six years younger.

“I farmed all my life; mostly general farming, specializing in purebred livestock…sheep and hogs as well as Border collies,” he said in that earlier interview. “I did all of my own work around the farm and rented out farming ground.”

He did this for as long as he could and for as long as his health held up.

“I had to,” said Kolb, a lifetime member of Farm Bureau. “We had 178 acres, here and on the next place.”

During his farming years, he judged a lot of sheep shows, including in Darke County, which he did for three consecutive years. He also judged in Preble and Butler counties.

“At one time I had 80 ewes and at one time had a purebred Southdown flock,” he said. “I sure miss that.”

Kolb, a fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Cincinnati Reds, said, when younger, he was in 4-H and was a 4-H leader for 10 years. He was also on the county livestock judging team years ago.

“I encouraged kids to get purebred livestock and we’d sweep the county fair,” he said.

He also drove skid loaders, tractors, combines.

His advice at that time for seniors in their golden years was “Stay out of trouble, mind your own business and don’t go into debt,” he said. “Debt is a terrible thing I couldn’t pay for.”

Just as his obituary read, Herman has touched many lives and has left many marks in the community and will be missed. That includes me.

Rest in Peace, Herman!

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Jamie and I extend our condolences to the families of Herman Kolb, Fred Curry, Art Price, Joyce (Troutwine) Baker, Frank Barrow, Marcia Rhoades, Bud Overholser, David Gwinn and Mary Alice Yount.
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Please pray for these people: Randy Heck, Jim Marker, Gary Knick, Barbara Alexander, Randy Garrison, Jannie Barrow, Kathy Gragorace, Danny Foster, Dave Niley, Noella Combs, Clay Sheffer, Sharon Miller, Marie Rieman, Mary Bryant Arnett, Becky Oliver, Ronnie Young, Jayden Martin, Jeff Rider, Ralph Byrd, Stefani Priest, Steve Neff, Michelle Leugers Enicks, Joann Freeman, Cathy Collins Peters, Donna Bixler, Vanna Hannam, Kevin Wampler, Brenda Wallace, Linda Subler, Michelle Young, Roger McEowen, Jerri Barber, Sally Burnett Ganger, Rick Alexander, Gloria Hodge, Jeff Baltes, Cory Meadows, Judy Hoffman and daughter Shelly, Albert Duncan, Cathy Melling, Scott Clark, and all of those who are suffering from other life-altering illnesses.
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Happy birthday:
May 17 to Dick George, Deborah Nixon, George Sparks, Linda Yoder and Mike Appleman.
May 18 to Aaron Keaser, Dixie Marker, Bonnie Scheidel, Kathy Hamilton, John Spencer, Kendra Earick, Zach Brown, Tori Wickham, Travis Shinn and Corinna Alexander.
May 19 to Alan Rismiller, Karen Lawrence, Katie Crandall Crawford, Mike McCord, Mason Hiestand, Darla Ullery and Daniel Soward.
May 20 to Donna Pauline Elleman, Mike Braynt, Mary Moyers, Tony Stewart, Tracey Richardson, Lydia Snyder, Scott Ward, Libby Price, Alice Barton, J.J. Hall, Danny Gibbs and Randy Taylor.
May 21 to Gaylen Blosser, Wanda Vetters, Cheryl Edwards, Bill Gibbons, Leanna Whittington, Alice Knick, Matilda Lore and Debby Sodders.
May 22 to Blaze Anderson and Gordon Knick.
May 23 to Tanya Hartrum Hines, Vi Klackner, Abigail Helmke and Sue Schlechty.
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Happy anniversary to: Kris and Michelle Dickey on May 19 and Jeff and Kim Peters on May 20.
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Think about it: “It’s better to regret something you have done than to regret something you haven’t.” — Author Unknown

Darke County Now Staff - Linda Moody - Staff Writer

Linda Moody / Staff Writer

I am a Darke County native living in the Ansonia area with my son. I have been in journalism 50+ years and enjoy what I do.

Contact Darke County Now Media Correspondent Linda Moody @ lmoody@darkecountynow.com or 937-337-1955.

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