Cover photo for James 'Skillet' Kolker's Obituary
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1931 James 2011

James 'Skillet' Kolker

August 16, 1931 — November 28, 2011

James A. Skillet Kolker, 80, of Bellevue, passed away suddenly Monday, November 28, 2011, at his home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, December 1, 2011, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Bellevue. Burial will be in the Parish Cemetery where full Military Rites will be accorded by the Bellevue American Legion Post #273. Visitation will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday evening at Hachmann Funeral Home & Cremation Service and again Thursday morning after 9:30 a.m. at the funeral home. James was born on August 16, 1931, in Maquoketa, the son of Henry and Lavita (Hipschen) Kolker. He married Judy (Till) Gonner on October 4, 1971, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Bellevue. James worked as a lineman for the City of Bellevue after graduating from St. Joseph's High School in 1949. In 1952 he was drafted and served in the U.S. Army's 84th Engineer Construction Battalion during the Korean War. He later co-owned K & K Electric and owned the cable company in Bellevue. After selling his businesses he worked as a rural mail carrier. James was very involved in the community. He served for 35 years with the Bellevue Volunteer Fire Department, including many years as Fire Chief. He volunteered many hours driving the RTA bus, was an active member of the Bellevue American Legion Post #273, serving on the firing squad, and was a fourth degree in the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed fishing, golfing, watching sports and spending time with his friends. Family was extremely important to Skillet. His great sense of humor, positive attitude, and generosity will be missed by all. Those left to honor his memory include his wife of 40 years, Judy; five children, Jeff (Jane) Gonner, of Dubuque; Jane (Mark) Eganhouse, of Bellevue; Julie (Rick) Hardorff, of Dubuque; Jon (Sarah Oberbroeckling) Kolker, of Dubuque; Jeanne (Jason) Kolker-Klein, of Madison, Wisconsin; four grandchildren, Michael (Erica) Eganhouse, Kara Eganhouse, and Justin and Lauren Gonner. He was preceded in death by his parents and many aunts, uncles and cousins. Online condolences may be left for the family at
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