Virginia Mae Bates Kolle, 94, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020.
Virginia was born in Kansas City, Kansas on Dec. 3, 1925 to Valeta Violet Sealy Bates and Earl Howard Bates.
She grew up in Dodge City, Kansas, graduated high school there, went on to attend the University of Kansas School of Nursing in Kansas City, Kansas and served as a member of the Cadet Nurses Corp during World War II.
At the start of her nursing career she met and, after a short courtship, married Dr. Fred Wynne Kolle of Houston on Jan. 3, 1947. In December 1951, they moved to Wharton where Dr. Kolle practiced at Rugeley and Blassingame Clinic and Gulf Coast Medical Center for 34 years until his untimely death in February 1984.
During those years, Mrs. Kolle worked 10 years as troop leader for the Girl Scouts, served on the Board of Child Protective Services for several years, helped organize and manage the free Well Baby Clinic, free Women’s Cancer screening at Wharton County Health Clinic and served as the designated crisis nurse for the American Red Cross. In 1970, she accepted a job as Wharton ISD district nurse until 1992.
Dr. and Mrs. Kolle were very active with the welfare of children, and upon his death helped start The Family Crisis Fund with the assistance of the Wharton community to meet the needs of families and children unmet elsewhere.
In her spare time, she enjoyed playing bridge or any kind of games, loved to gamble and just have fun.
In 1998, she was honored with the annual Vocation Award for her “dedicated and loving service to the children of the Wharton community” by the Rotary Club of Wharton. The same year she was awarded The Jean Harris Award by the president of Rotary International in Houston.
Mrs. Kolle was also a founding member of the Wharton County Republican Party, and a card holding member of the RNC.
Her greatest joy came from her children, grandchildren and great-grands.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Fred, sister Pauline Bates Wheeler, and brother Joseph Bates.
She is survived by her daughters: Karol Latham and husband Gene of Bellville, Susan Marek and husband Terry of Wharton, Mona Zaky Razzak of Baltimore, MD; son Steve Kolle and wife Dorothy of Teague; and daughter Kitty Heath and husband Nigel of Grenada, West Indies; grandchildren: Carrie Calloway Gant and husband Tom, Commander Lewis Calloway (U.S. Navy), Christian VonDrehle and wife Kelly, Kelly VonDrehle-Morrison and husband Tyler, Cody VonDrehle and fiancé Hannah, Ann Pierce and husband Chris, Philip Marek and fiancé Nita, David White and wife Monique, and Joseph White; great-grandchildren: Jacob Rachel and David Gant, Addison and Elizabeth Callaway, Eli and William VonDrehle, Claire and Charles Pierce, Samuel Kolle White and Araya White; and great-great-grandchild Brett Ferguson.
Graveside services will be held Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. at Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery with the Rev. Debbie Cenko officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Virginia Bates Kolle Scholarship Fund establishing a nursing scholarship at Wharton County Junior College at paypal.me/pools/c/8thnl95gZY or to a children’s charity or hospital of your choice.
Funeral services are under the direction of Wharton Funeral Home.
Condolences may be left at whartonfuneralhome.com