Bradford Neal Kolbo

photo of Bradford N. Kolbo

Bradford N. Kolbo

Bradford Neal Kolbo was born in Nampa, ID on June 26th, 1947.  He died June 3rd, 2017.

Raised by his parents Neal and Sara Kolbo in Nampa, Idaho, Brad always remembered his childhood as a time of hard work and Christian heritage.  He spoke fondly of life on his grandpa’s farm, and with his parents involved in their local church.  He and his sister Debbie had a truly wonderful childhood.

He then went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies from Western Baptist College (now Corban College) where he met his wife, Bonnie Kolbo.  He and Bonnie both sang and developed a love for each other during their time in college.  They were married December 9th, 1967.

After college, Brad began life with his bride.  Their marriage began with ministry and activity.  Brad was a pastor, coach, and choir director.  Soon he developed a desire to plant his own church, and off to Idaho they went with their growing young family in tow.

After some years in Idaho, Brad and Bonnie settled in the Seattle area for more years of ministry.  His love for church, sports, music, and family all blossomed in his time in Washington.  

He coached his kids in basketball, and also encouraged the girls’ interest in music and his son’s love of art.  He was an eager supporter of their sports when they moved past his ability to coach them along.  By the time grandkids came along, Brad loved to keep up with their athletics, music and art as well.

Brad had a small fascination with the game of golf.  His Mondays or Saturday mornings could find him on the course or driving range.  The overcast Northwest never quenched his interest in the game.

In addition to sports and his family, Brad was a lifelong learner.  He went on to earn a Doctorate and other certifications.  He served on the Board for Western Baptist College (now Corban College) for a period as well. He was always learning about anything that grabbed his interest.  Brad enjoyed time on the coast with his wife more than almost anything.  They would take trips out as often as they could, and those trips were opportunities to rest, dream, and make memories.

He was a proud grandpa to his 8 grandkids.

Brad is survived by his sister, Debbie, loving wife (of 49 years), Bonnie with their children Scott, Lisa, and Wendi along with the grandchildren; Eden, Amy, Micaiah, Judah, Caius, Ghilleadh, Aly and Eva.

Brad was a Pastor, mentor, counselor, wonderful father and dedicated husband. Though our hearts are grieving for the loss of him here on earth, we know he is whole. He fought until the end and is now experiencing an eternity with Jesus.

We love you Dad. Thank you for living your life dedicated to serving, teaching, listening, laughing and doing for others.  What a legacy of love and a life well lived.

11 Responses to “Bradford Neal Kolbo”

  • Roger Farwell says:

    I just learned Pastor Kolbo passed away.
    Sadness, I feel. Mixed w the satisfaction that comes from knowing He is present w the Lord. Also that he lived out the Gospel faithfully in all the roles he lived as redeemed son , husband, father, pastor , friend , counselor , and on and on.
    My condolences in your loss here on earth . I trust you will find some joy in the memories that pop up and encouragement to walk w the Lord in the example Brad lived letting God’s grace work itself out in salvation and servanthood.
    Roger Farwell

  • Jim Starr says:

    I have never met a more Godly man then Brad. He was an inspiration to all who knew and loved him. He truly will be missed by all those he pastored. He is now serving his master face to face in glory. He was my friend and pastor and I shall miss him. My prayers go out to Bonnie and his family who miss him the most.

  • Frank & Susie Alexander says:

    We were the very first wedding Brad conducted as a Senior Pastor (in Othello, Washington). His wife Bonnie was at the hospital having contractions with their soon to be born son while the ceremony was going on. So our connection to the Kolbos is truly special. Brad was a godly man who demonstrated how to walk faithfully with Jesus, how to be a good husband & father and a preacher whose sermons gripped your heart Sunday after Sunday. We are thankful he was our pastor when we were newlyweds. He impacted us in more ways than he ever knew. We love him and his family. We are sad for their loss. But we all will see him again! Praise God!

  • Brie Adams says:

    I was saddened to read of pastor Brads passing. He is one of the biggest reasons that my family are members at EBF church. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him but I know he is well and whole with the Lord Jesus in heaven. One of his go to scriptures was Philipians 1:21-23

  • Karen Cook says:

    Brad will always hold a special place in my heart and I will cherish the many memories I have of him. He baptized my daughter, Elizabeth — in a RIVER! And performed Phil and Elizabeth’s wedding. I sat under his teaching for many years and worked alongside him at Maple Valley Baptist Church. I will remember his gentle manner and quiet wit. His love of old-time gospel music and the game of golf bring a smile; and I often tell the story of how he referred to my love of administration and organization as the “spiritual gift of paperwork.” I will always remember his sermons and there are many, many notes in my Bible with references to his teaching. May God comfort your family as you grieve your loss, but may you also rejoice in Brad’s great gain. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

  • Don and Jan Smith says:

    We are so sorry to hear of Pastor Brad’s passing. Praying for your family and asking God to comfort you as only he can. He was a great man of God.

  • James Roberts says:

    Brad taught me how to swing a baseball bat. He was kinder than a brother and I knew how much he loved the Lord. I will alway remember his loving smile and laughter and our mutual love of family. So glad he is with Jesus and other beloved who have crossed over; so glad Brad suffers no more. Prayers for the family.

  • Dave and Doneta Booth says:

    Bonnie, What a tremendous legacy has left. Your family’s impact has not only touched us as a relative but also through the ministry of your daughter and son-in-law, Tim and Wendi. Know that their updates of Brad kept you constantly in our prayers and will continue to do so in the coming days. Love you!

  • Mitch Allerton says:

    I know this message is kind of late but I just found this site. I was a 13 year old boy when I first encountered Coach Kolbo, (as he was known then), at Nampa Christian. I was an late blooming uncoordinated 8th grader but Coach Kolbo and I had an encounter one day. I am not sure why we spoke but I remember clearly him telling me to keep playing basketball. If you love it, he said, just keep playing. And I did. I later started on my HS team, (not NCHS), and even made the team at Western Baptist my freshman year. I never forgot the advice he gave me.

  • Cheryl Jones says:

    I was thinking about Brad today, and realized with great sadness he has passed. I counseled with Brad years ago. What a gentle, wonderful man. Brad had such empathy and understanding, he was truly a gem. I cannot imagine the legacy of love he must leave behind. I am truly grateful to have known him, and spent a little time with him in this life. He must have left a great void when he passed, but to know he is with Jesus is such a joy. Praise Him who has great plans for us all! Until we meet again, dear, kind soul. Cheryl

  • Marsha Gronotte says:

    Very thankful for the time to have known Pastor Brad. A loving and kind, God fearing man! I just learned of his joining the Lord and my Mother who adored him!
    A friend to me in my spiritual life and just a friend and good Pastor in Maple Valley.
    See you again!

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