Mary Kolva

Obituary of Mary Kathryn Kolva

Great Valley – Mary Kathryn Kolva “No Caption” On July 10, 2021, at the age of 91, Mary Kathryn Kolva, residing at The Pines of Machias, formerly of Rochester passed away surrounded by family at Buffalo General Hospital. Mary was born on November 1, 1929 in Spring Grove PA to Elsie (Fair) and Wilford Eugene Lau. She was the middle child with 1 sister and 1 brother. On August 5, 1950 she married Karl Kenneth Kolva who passed away Mary attended Elizabethtown College, and it was there that she met her husband of 70 years and lifelong partner Karl Kenneth Kolva. They married on August 5, 1950. Mary and Karl moved to Rochester, NY and over the years had nine children: Dennis, David (Olga), Jeanne (Eugene Rice), Jane, Judy (Guy Montelione), Jill, Janet (Mark) Woodworth, JoAnn (Mark) Kurtis, and Donald (Chris Paszko), all surviving. She is also survived by her younger brother Michael Lau, 18 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Along with her loving husband, Karl, Mary is predeceased by her parents, her older sister Grace Hawk, and 1 grandson. During her lifetime, Mary traveled with Karl to all 50 States and more than 24 countries on all continents except Australia. They often took circuitous routes to visit with family. Mary was employed as a teacher’s aide with the West Irondequoit School District. She also volunteered for more than 10 years with the West Irondequoit PTA, and was a Cub Scout den mother. After her retirement, she volunteered hundreds of hours for the local Ronald McDonald House fundraising sale. She sewed doll clothes so every doll sold had an outfit. She also loved being creative. She painted, cross-stitched, knitted hats and mittens to be donated to others, crocheted pot holders, sewed clothes for her children, and spent many hours in her flower gardens. Mary supported Karl’s passion for orienteering and helped the Rochester Orienteering Club by sewing controls, helping at events and most importantly, providing baked goods for participants. Mary then took the most popular recipes and shared them with other Orienteerers in book form. In 2012, The Rochester Orienteering Club honored Mary with a lifetime membership award for her contribution to the club. Services will be held at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are under the direction of the Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, Inc., 646 East State Street, Olean. Burial will be for both Mary and Karl in the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Annville, PA. Online condolences may be made at Letters of condolence can be sent to The Kolva Family, 4508 Courtney Highland Drive, Great Valley, NY 14741. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Rochester Orienteering Club through their website (, or may be sent to: ROC Treasurer Lindsay Worner, 3394 Edgemere Drive, Rochester NY 14612, or to The Ronald McDonald House through their website (, or may be sent to: The Ronald McDonald House, 333 Westmoreland Drive, Rochester, NY 14620.
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