Richard F. Kolda, age 100, passed away on November 6, 2020 due to complications from Covid-19. He was fortunate to have led a wonderful life. Richard was born on June 19, 1920 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Frank Kolda and Mayme Kolda (nee Hruby). His mother was one of the renowned Hruby Family of musicians, who were integral in developing music in Cleveland in the early 1900’s and throughout the 1960’s. As a young boy, Richard began playing the trumpet, and knew he would be a musician too.
As the United States entered World War II, he volunteered in the US Army. His entire service was stateside, where he served in several capacities, including the Military Police. Near the end of the war he was able to play in several Army bands, especially for troop ships returning from Europe.
After his discharge, Richard received his Bachelor of Music from Ohio University, and later earned his Master’s Degree in Music from Western Reserve University. He married fellow musician, Marjorie Rutz, who excelled in playing the French horn. The two were members of many bands and orchestras throughout their careers, including the symphony orchestras in Charleston, WV, and Akron, OH, the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cleveland Summer Pops Orchestra and as occasional extras for the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell.
He was hired to teach music in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights, Ohio school system in the fall of 1949, where he taught for 30 years. During those years he taught at several schools and at all grade levels within the district.
After retirement, Richard moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and decided to pick up the trumpet again. He played in various small local musical groups. In 2004, at age 83, he was invited to join the Las Vegas Symphony as an extra trumpeter for the performance of The Rienzi Overture, by Richard Wagner.
Richard and Marjorie moved to Rio Rancho, New Mexico to be near their daughter in 2007. He immediately joined the Rio Rancho Symphonic Band at age 87. He had the honor of being the oldest member until he retired at 93 years of age.
Richard was preceded in death by his wife, Marjorie, of 67 years, and his granddaughter, Lauren Vidergar. He is survived by his son, Ronald (Patricia), daughter, Janet Humann (Vincent), two grandchildren, J. Eric Vidergar (Cheryl) and Elizabeth Callahan (Stephen), 3 great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family hopes to have a memorial next year in Cleveland, Ohio, where he will be buried. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Broadway School of Music and the Arts, 5415 Broadway Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, 44127. The school is located in the former Hruby Conservatory that was founded by the Hruby Family in 1917. Their website is http://www.broadwayschool.org
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