Service Date: 05/05/2018 at 1:00 PM
Location:High Valley Cemetery
A reception will follow the graveside at Grace Episcopal Church in Ellensburg.
Louis A. Kollmeyer, 103, longtime resident of Ellensburg, passed away on April 14, 2018 at his home. He was born in Diggins, Missouri on December 6, 1914. Louis is survived by his three sons, Shannon (Cris), Douglas (Gerry), and Mark. He had seven grandchildren, Aaron, Kelly, Dorri, John, David, Kit, and Ben, and six great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Dorothy. In addition to his parents, Frederich Carl Kollmeyer and Bertha Helen Kollmeyer, he was preceded in death by brothers Irwin, Walter, Melvin, and sisters Velma and Esther, and daughter in law, Heidi (Mark), granddaughter Kennedy, and wife Faye.
Growing up in small rural communities in southwest Missouri, Louis developed a love for nature and the outdoors. His interest in art started in primary school with art becoming his life’s work in teaching and painting. He graduated from Seymour High School in Missouri and then graduated from Southwest Missouri State Teachers College in 1937, with a degree in education. His first teaching job was in Mountain Grove, Missouri where he met Verla Faye, his wife of 79 years. They married March 5, 1938.
Louis started graduate school at the University of Iowa, but with the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the Navy V-7 officer candidate program at Northwestern University, July 1942. He served as Lieutenant First Division Officer on aircraft carrier USS Card (CVE-11), Command Ship of Task Group engaged in convoy protection and anti-submarine warfare in the Atlantic, European, and African Theaters until the end of war in Europe. The USS Card, escorting destroyers USS Barry, USS Borie, USS Goff, and VC Squadron’s One and Nine, was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation in 1943. He continued serving on USS Card in Asiatic Pacific Theater until September 1945. He was released to inactive Reserve status in January 1946. In 1966, he was transferred to Final Reserve Retired Status. Serving in WWII had a profound impact on Louis’ life and his family and friends spent many hours listening to stories of those years. One of his favorite events was to attend the USS Card ship reunions held around the country where he met up with his old shipmates.
Louis completed his Master of Arts degree at the University of Iowa in 1946, and returned to La Grande, Oregon, where he was the Chairman of the Art Department at Eastern Oregon College until 1950. He then moved to River Falls Wisconsin to be the Chairman of the Art Department at the River Falls branch of the University of Wisconsin. While at River Falls, he studied during the summers and one year of sabbatical to complete his Doctor of Education degree at the University of Oregon.
In 1958 Louis became the Chairman of Art and Industrial Arts at Central Washington State College (later University), in Ellensburg, Washington, where he held various administrative and teaching responsibilities, retiring in 1982. He produced many paintings over the years when working but became more active painting in retirement with many works being exhibited in invitational, individual, group shows, and in juried exhibits, including the Americans in Paris Exhibition, a Bi-Centennial of contemporary American painting. Living in the Kittitas valley near surrounding mountains, Yakima River canyon, Columbia River, and Lake Chelan, Louis had a variety of geological and landscape subjects that inspired many of his paintings. His works are owned by collectors, individuals, and estates in over a dozen states, Canada, England, Norway, Ireland and Holland. He is leaving a legacy of art work depicting realistic and abstract subjects seen and reproduced by the keen eye and skill of an artist. He always carried his sketch book when out doors and especially on the many hunting and fishing adventures with his three sons. Seeing those many places and then having them recreated later in a painting has provided many fond memories for his family and friends.
Graveside services will be held at High Valley Cemetery, Ellensburg, Washington, May 5, 2018, at 1:00 pm, with reception following at Grace Episcopal Church. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Louis A. Kollmeyer Scholarship Fund, Central Washington University Foundation, 400 E. University Way, Ellensburg, WA 98926.
Steward & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Ellensburg has been entrusted with caring for Louis’s family. Online condolences may be left at www.steward-williams.com