Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
April 28, 2008
K of C leader David Kolasa was 'a true knight'
A retired teacher, former state deputy, Kolasa died at 78
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
The Knights of Columbus are mourning the sudden passing of David Kolasa, a distinguished K of C leader who dedicated more than 47 years of his life to the order.
Kolasa, who served as state deputy of the Knights from 1993 to 1995, died at Red Deer Hospital April 13. He was 78.
"He was a hard-working state deputy who had the Knights of Columbus in his heart," former state deputy Lito Reyes said April 17. "He really believed in the Knights of Columbus.
A friendly guy
"He was well liked among the members for his easy-going attitude and infectious smile. He was a very friendly guy who always had something good to say about people."
Former state deputy Urbain Zak of Red Deer will remember Kolasa as a man who dedicated his life to serving others, including the Church and the Knights.
"He was a very loving and holy Church believer who enjoyed life to the fullest," he said. "He never took advantage of anybody and he certainly gave more than he received."
A Ukrainian rite Catholic, Kolasa served as Catholic school trustee in Red Deer from 1971 to 1976 while teaching in the public system. He once described himself as a spiritual and committed man who liked to finish what he started.
"I'm committed to my Catholic faith and to my family," he said.
He and his wife Olga raised six children. One of his children, David Kolasa, Jr., followed in his footsteps and is currently grand knight of the Bishop Savaryn Council at St. Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Parish.
Raised in Thorhild, Kolasa joined the Knights in 1961 while he was teaching in Delburne, just east of Red Deer.
He moved to Red Deer in 1964 and transferred to the K of C council at St. Mary's Parish, eventually becoming grand knight of that council.
In 1985, the year he retired from teaching, Kolasa became district deputy for the Red Deer area. In 1986, he helped start a council at St. Vladimir Parish and became state advocate. As state advocate he was responsible for making sure the Knights followed their constitution.
In 1987, he piloted the first annual Respect Life Pro-life Oratorical Contest in Catholic high schools in Alberta. Kolasa later served as state secretary and was instrumental in setting up the state office in Red Deer in 1988-89.
He became a fourth degree member in 1984 and a faithful navigator for the fourth degree after his term as state deputy, noted Reyes.
During Kolasa's term as state deputy, the Knights brought in hundreds of new members and created councils in almost every parish.
"He was always concerned about membership and how councils could do better," Reyes said. "He was a true knight."
A prayer service for Kolasa was held at St. Vladimir Church April 17. Knights from across Alberta and the Territories attended his funeral Mass at Sacred Heart Church April 18.