Joseph A. Kolter

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Joseph A. Kolter, 76, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died at his home Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. 

Joe was born in Winona, Minn., April 16, 1943, and grew up in Prairie du Chien, where he attended high school and worked various jobs until entering the military and serving in Korea. He moved to Cedar Rapids and worked as a housing inspector for HACAP until his retirement in 2005. 

His love of woodworking, nature, hunting and fishing led Joe to making his first calls in 1979 at the suggestion of a hunting partner. The business he subsequently founded, J.A. Kolter Custom Game Calls, grew rapidly, as did the awards and recognitions. At one time, he estimated he had made 10,000-plus calls. Joe’s remarkable artistic ability, patience and attention to detail made each of them not only fully functional calls but amazing works of art. One of his last wishes was to get to the workshop to turn a final call. His was a life well lived and we are all so grateful to have been a part of it. Love you Joe.

Joe is survived by his beautiful wife, Arlene, and his lab, Earl. His life was greatly enriched by his step-children, Deb Strope of Springfield, Ill., Cindy (Scott) Nye of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Tracy (Francisco) Calderone of Gresham, Ore., and Danny Gardner of Gresham, Ore.; also, his sisters, Bev (Richard) Masino and Chris (Tony) Trentin; nieces and nephew Rhona Kramer of Prairie du Chien, Terri (Steve) Achenbach of Eastman, Clay Riness of Coon Valley, Summer Trentin (Jared Ervine) of Denver Colo., Kit Trentin of Des Moines, Iowa, and Cody (Amanda) Trentin of Prairie du Chien.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father; sister, Chotty Mitchell of Prairie du Chien; and step-daughter, Rae Lee Gardner of Cedar Rapids. 

Per his wishes, Joe was cremated and a private family gathering was held in Cedar Rapids.

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