Jeanne Loftus Kukulka, 90, a loving and thoughtful wife and mother who instilled a spirit of adventure in her family, intellectual curiosity in her children, and a desire to experience the larger world, passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, at Danbury hospital in the company of her son, John, and daughter, Kathryn.
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Jeanne was born in Hartford on Oct. 3, 1922, the only child of John L. Loftus Jr. and Clara (Devine) Loftus who died when Jeanne was 5 years old. Raised in Enfield by her father and his unmarried sister, Mame, she attended St. Joseph School and graduated with honors from Enfield High School in 1940. After graduation, she worked in the insurance industry before enrolling in the St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing in Hartford, from which she graduated in 1945. During her senior year, she was assigned to the U.S. Army Convalescent Hospital at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts, as a member of the U.S. Army Cadet Nursing Program, in which she worked in the psychiatric unit with returning veterans. Following graduation as a registered nurse, she worked in Springfield for a psychiatrist for five years, during which time she married her longtime beau, Edmond F. Kukulka, in 1948. Upon the birth of her first child she took a 10-year leave from her nursing career to raise three children, during which time she organized camping vacations that took the family from Montreal's Expo 68, to Washington, D.C., Florida, Chicago, and many trips to Cape Cod. Returning to nursing in the mid-1960s, she worked in various medical situations from industrial nursing at Hamilton Standard to skilled nursing care at the Parkway Pavilion in Enfield, and finally spending the last 20 years of her career as a nurse at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, from which she retired in 1985. She continued her longstanding association with the hospital as a member of the St. Francis Hospital Medical Center (SFHMC) Alumni Association and the Retirement Club. In retirement, she and her husband lived in Redding with their son, Walter, and his family for eight years and subsequently returned to Enfield in 1995 where they continued to travel and visit their three children who lived throughout the country.
Jeanne was predeceased by her husband, Edmond, in 2009, and her son, Walter, in January 2013, and is survived by her son, John W. Kukulka, and his wife, Elizabeth Hanson, from Ridgefield; her daughter, Kathryn M. Kukulka, and her partner, William T. Haebler from Laguna Beach, Calif.; and her four grandchildren, Ian in Boston, Jocelyn and Charmagne in New York City, and Whitney in San Francisco.
Calling hours will be held at Browne Memorial Funeral Chapel, 43 Shaker Road, on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, between the hours of 9:30 and 11 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Martha Roman Catholic Church, 214 Brainard Road, Enfield. The burial will take place immediately following the Mass in St. Patrick's King Street Cemetery.
For online condolences and more information go to
Browne Funeral Chapels
43 Shaker Road
Enfield, CT 06082
Published in Journal Inquirer from Aug. 19 to Aug. 23, 2013