“What he could do with just his facial muscles was amazing,” she said. “The world has been so much enriched by him.”
Kolb was born with a rare condition known as Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, or spinal muscular atrophy, which eventually led to quadriplegia.
He went on to graduate from Kearney State College, now the University of Nebraska at Kearney, as a fully credentialed high school physics and mathematics teacher.
In the days before the Americans with Disabilities Act, he could not get hired as a full-time teacher. But he taught as a substitute at both Kearney and Franklin high schools and tutored numerous Franklin-area students. He also appeared on a Kearney religious broadcast program and taught youth and adult Sunday school.
“Advocacy is essentially an act of educating oneself and others, not only about their rights under the law, but also to exercise our right to petition the powers that be for the things we need for survival and the opportunity to thrive in the community,” he said in a 2015 blog post.