Rodney Koliha, 75
Wed, 07/05/2023 - 9:23am admin
Feb. 16, 1948 -
June 30, 2023
HARMONY - Rodney John Koliha, 75 of Harmon, Minn., passed away Friday, June 30, 2023
Rodney was born on February 16, 1948, in Minneapolis, Minn., to Robert and Wanda (Scanlon) Koliha. Rodney grew up on a dairy farm in York township. He enjoyed hunting, snowmobiling and wrestling in high school. He graduated Harmony High school in 1965 and Austin Area Vocational Technical School in 1967 with a Farm Equipment Mechanics diploma. In 1968 he was drafted into the United States Army. After basic training, he was stationed at Fort Hood, Killeen, Texas for 21 months where he was a motor pool clerk and had achieved the rank of SPEC 5.
On November 2, 1968, Rodney married his high school sweetheart, Lynda Hilke, and they returned to Texas to complete his service. After his discharge in 1970, they returned home to Harmony, purchased their first farm and began farming part-time. He also went to work as a farm implement mechanic. He later worked as a mechanic at a car dealership in Preston, then as a service manager, and eventually was part owner.
In June 1982, he began farming full-time and moved his family to the Hilke State Line farm. He had a strong work ethic and farmed from sun-up to sun-down or until the job was done. He started his day early at six to have coffee with his friends. He farmed close to 1,000 acres, raised registered red angus cattle and had up to 1,000 head of hogs on the farm at one time. He looked forward to each planting and harvest season. Many times, after the chores were done, Rodney and Lynda would drive around to check the crops. Most recently, he moved into a senior management role but was still farming and checking the crops until late last week.
He was active in the Harmony American Legion Post 81 and the current commander. He was also a member of the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery Color Guard. Rodney was the current president of the Harmony United Methodist Administrative Board. He served over 30 years as a Supervisor of the Harmony Township board and was a past president of the Fillmore County Unit of Townships. He also drove bus, substituting on a bus route or taking a Fillmore Central team to a game or meet. He sold seed corn and registered red angus livestock.
He loved spending time with his family, especially his grandkids, and always had a special chocolate treat to share, usually a Snickers bar. He always had time to read to them, play Go Fish and Old Maid, help with puzzles and looked forward to them joining him in the combine or tractor in the fall. On Sundays, Rodney, Lynda and his family could be found in the third row from the back of the church. After church they enjoyed going out for breakfast and being together.
Rodney is survived by his wife of 54 years, Lynda; daughters Carrie (David) Patzke of Ham Lake, Minn,, Holly (Brian) Nelson of Harmony, MN and son Brandon (Anne) Koliha of Harmony; grandchildren Logan and Nolan Patzke, Brooklyn and Zoey Nelson; he is also survived by brother, Robyn (Sue) Koliha of St Louis Park, Minn., sister Rochelle (Julian) Wick of Richfield, Minn., sister-in-law Julie Hilke of Harmony and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his father and mother-in-law Earl and Arlone Hilke, a niece, uncles, aunts and cousins.
Memorials are preferred to the Harmony United Methodist Church, State Line Cemetery Association and Harmony American Legion Post 81.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a. m. on Friday, July 7, 2023 at the United Methodist Church in Harmony. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 6, 2023 at Lindstrom Funeral Home in Harmony and again one hour prior to services on Friday morning at the church. Burial with full military honors will take place at the State Line Cemetery in rural Harmony. Lindstrom Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.