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Published: Monday, 11/5/2001

Gas meter repairman enjoyed gardening

PUT-IN-BAY - Joseph C. Kolinski, an Army veteran who served in World War II and was an avid gardener and sportsman, died Saturday in his daughter's residence here. He was 83.

Mr. Kolinski, formerly of Toledo, died of heart failure, his son-in-law, Rick Rothert, said.

Born Sept. 5, 1918, Mr. Kolinski grew up on a farm in Temperance, where he helped raise pigs and grow grain.

“It was rough at times. He had to quit school,” said his daughter, Brenda Powell.

His experience on the farm carried over into the rest of his life in the form of vegetable gardens, which he particularly treasured cultivating.

“That kept him busy and happy,” Mr. Rothert said. “It was the old farm boy in him.”

Mr. Kolinski left the farm during World War II, when he was stationed in Iceland with the Army.

After the war, Mr. Kolinski moved to South Toledo with his wife, Hyacinth, eventually landing a job as a meter repair serviceman with Columbia Gas. He worked for the company for more than 35 years.

A quiet man who kept mostly to himself, Mr. Kolinski enjoyed hunting and fishing, Mr. Rothert said.

He was a longtime parishioner at St. Jude Church in Toledo.

In Put-in-Bay, where he lived with his daughter, Linda Rothert, Mr. Kolinski was affectionately called “Mailman Joe,” because of his job handling incoming and outgoing mail, Mr. Rothert said.

Surviving are his daughters, Linda Rothert and Brenda Powell; five grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow in the Sujkowski Funeral Home, Northpointe on East Alexis Road in Toledo. Services on Wednesday will begin at 10:15 a.m. in the funeral home and continue at 11 a.m. in St. Jude Church.

The family requests tributes to Put-in-Bay emergency medical services.

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