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Mass set for Andrew Kolbe, first U.S. Honda cycle dealer

first_imgHe joined the U.S. Coast Guard and served for three years after high school graduation. He met and married Barbara Trowbridge-Burns during his military service. Before launching his Honda motorcycle business, Kolbe worked as a machinist and tool-design engineer at North American, later Rocketdyne. Kolbe is survived by his wife of 54 years, Barbara; children, David Kolbe, Valarie Kolbe and Nancy Kolbe Wright; seven grandchildren; one great-grandchild and his brother, George Kolbe. The memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Mel Roman Catholic Church, 20870 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills. Burial will be private. Donations in his memory may be sent in his name to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center – Cancer Research, Attn.: Kelly Morris (Community Relations), 8700 Beverly Blvd., Suite 2416, Los Angeles, CA 90048 or California Equine Retirement Foundation Inc., 34033 Kooden Road, Winchester, CA 92596. [email protected] 818-713-3708160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings“He ran his shop tightly but you knew he really cared about people. He was a real family guy, very devoted to his kids. Andy was very involved in the community, very generous. Andy was good-natured and very warm-hearted. He was quite a guy.” Kolbe’s leisure activities over the years included motorcycle racing, gardening and tournament sport fishing, especially in Kona, Hawaii. He was a thoroughbred horse owner and breeder. “He was like a visionary, more than just an owner (of dealerships). He was innovative and entrepreneurial. He was hardworking and determined,” said his son, David Kolbe. “He had strong morals and values. He supported community events.” Andrew Robert Kolbe was born Aug. 20, 1932, in Yonkers, N.Y. His family moved to Pasadena and, later, to Altadena. Kolbe was enrolled in an apprentice training program at Flanders, a motorcycle parts and accessories manufacturer in Pasadena, while he attended high school. A memorial Mass will be celebrated Saturday for San Fernando Valley businessman Andrew Kolbe, president of Kolbe Honda and Kolbe Cycle Sales, who died in Tarzana after a five-year battle with multiple myeloma. He was 75. Kolbe founded the first U.S. Honda motorcycle franchise in 1959 on Ventura Boulevard in Woodland Hills. He was among the first dozen U.S. Honda franchise owners in 1970 with a dealership – still located on Reseda Boulevard in Reseda. “Soichiro Honda (the founder of Honda Motors) called him his No. 1 son,” recalled longtime public-relations adviser and friend Ray Rosenbaum, who met with Kolbe nearly every Wednesday since 1962. last_img read more