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1947 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Born December 2, 1947, James Kulikauskas passed into eternal being on Wednesday, 7 February, 2018. Loving Husband to Louise, Brother to Michael (Mary Ann), Uncle to Michael Jr. (Patti), Julie (Jon), and Laura, Father figure to Matthew and Megan (Matt Tegelman), Grandpa to Maxwell and Mitchell, and Great Uncle to Michael, Noah, Jack and Mia, and preceded in death by his parents Bruno and Genevieve Kulikauskas. Jim grew up in the South Side neighborhood of Brighton Park where Bruna's Italian restaurant was one of his favorite places to frequent whenever he returned to the city to visit his parents. He resided in Arlington Heights, where he could live immersed in nature and open spaces while he made the daily commute to work at Marsh where he served as a loyal broker for 30 years and became a senior vice president before retiring in 2007. Throughout the years, Jim traveled the US, exploring the country's National Parks and hatching meticulously detailed plans in order to visit them all. Jim's work and travels kept him busy, but he always returned bearing thoughtful souvenirs for his nieces, nephew, stepchildren and grandchildren, and through them left a legacy of his knowledge and appreciation for the world. He loved the natural world, native heritage and wildlife as much as he appreciated the high culture and cuisine his great city had to offer, and became a consistently generous member of the city's cultural institutions, including the Art Institute, the Architectural Foundation, the Adler Planetarium, the Chicago Botanic Gardens, the MSI, the Field Museum of Natural History and the Shedd Aquarium. Jim and Louise frequented the best cuisine Chicago had to offer, and tasted 13 new Chicago restaurants every year-one for each week of the Chicago winter. Ever the romantic, Jim wed the love of his life, Louise Mele, whom he addressed as "Sweetie," in a private ceremony on 15, April 2015 at D&J Bistro in Lake Zurich, Ill.-the location of one of their first dates, surrounded by close family of the adoring couple. They honeymooned in Hawaii, one of the few places he visited more than once. In his retirement, Jim was an avid life historian and host, combining his talents to locate old friends and organize extended family and grammar school classmates for reunions on a grand scale. An avid lover of the seasons and nature, Jim dedicated time to research volumes of knowledge of the natural world, which he retained and applied in striving to create his own outdoor haven, a landscape that includes a vegetable garden, fruit trees, perennial flowers and herbs, a bird habitat and a koi pond. His favorite summer past time was relaxing in the garden hammock: listening to music, reading, or dozing off solving his Games Magazine puzzles. Jim will be missed by his dear family, friends and classmates, but has left an indelible mark illuminated in our hearts and minds as a kind and inquisitively vibrant soul who embodied a life well lived. As his young grandson would say, "Well-played, Grandpa Jim!" The visitation will be held Monday from 3 to 8 PM at Ahlgrim & Sons Funeral and Cremation Services, 330 W. Golf Road, Schaumburg. In state Tuesday 9:30 AM until time of mass at 10:30 AM at Holy Family Catholic Community, 2515 West Palatine Road, Inverness. Interment St. Casimir Cemetery, Chicago. In lieu of sending flowers, please consider making a gift in his name to the Shedd Aquarium. Funeral information or online condolences, www.ahlgrimfuneral.com or 847-882-5580.
Published in Chicago Suburban Daily Herald on Feb. 11, 2018
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