COZAD - Joseph Kuklis, 97, of Cozad passed away Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, at Emerald Care and Rehab.
Mass of the Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at Christ the King Catholic Church. Burial with military honors will be at Cozad Cemetery.
Visitation and Rosary were Monday at Berryman Funeral Home.
Joe was born July 8, 1923, in St Paul to Josef and Terezia (Houska) Kuklis. While attending high school, Joe worked at Hamburger Meat Market, where he delivered meat orders on his bicycle. Joe graduated from St Paul High School with the class of 1941. After graduation Joe continued working at the meat market until he was drafted into the Army in March of 1943. He was deployed to Europe, where he earned the rank of Private First Class (PFC) and served with Company C of the 7th Armored Infantry Battalion, 8th Armored Division, until he was honorably discharged in March of 1946.
When he returned to St Paul he worked for Anderson Lockers. He met the love of his life, Sylvia Nagorski, and they were married on Aug. 16, 1949, at Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church. To this union, eight children were born. In 1953, they moved to Loup City, where Joe worked in the meat department of the grocery store. In 1965, the family moved to Cozad when Joe was recruited to work at F&S Sausage, where he was a meat cutter for 10 years. Joe worked as a painter at Tenneco Automotive, where he retired after 15 years.
Joe was a faithful member for 55 years of Christ the King Catholic Church, where he was a member of the choir. Joe belonged to and was an active member of the Knights of Columbus and American Legion, Post 77. He was a lifetime member of the Veteran of Foreign Wars, Post 890. Joe and Sylvia enjoyed going on bus tours and attending their grandchildren's activities. Joe never met a stranger and was well-known for striking up a friendly conversation everywhere he went. A favorite piece of advice for him to share was "never take a wooden nickel." Joe enjoyed working outdoors on his yard and garden, watching western movies, listening to polka music and cheering on the Huskers.
Joe will be remembered for the deep love he held for his family and church and the kindness he showed to others. He was a good man.
Joe is survived by and will be greatly missed by his children, Michael Kuklis (Michael Daudier) of Lake Worth Beach, Fla., Ramona (Phillip) Griffith of Carbondale, Colo., Dan (Janna) Kuklis of Grand Island, LaDonna Barela (Russ Besmer) of Cozad and Jeff (Stacy) Kuklis of Milford; son-in-law, Dennis Williams of Arizona; grandchildren, Stace (Laura) Williams, Darcy (Dave) Pastian, Hilary (Tim) Myers, Damion (Stacy) Williams, Ceslie Kuklis, Joelie Kuklis, Caleb (Laura) Griffith, Claire (Justin) Erickson, Casey (Leah) Griffith, Allison (Ryan) Sloan, Jon Kuklis, Isaac Barela, Morgan Kuklis, Carter Kuklis and Karlee Kuklis; great-grandchildren, Sean, Brandon, Sara, Addie, Davey, Matthew, Benjamin, Shay, Peri, Rilyn and Tyce; and many nieces, nephews and relatives.
Joe was preceded in death by his sister, Helen; his parents; his wife; a daughter, Cecelia Williams; a son-in-law, David Barel; son, Gerald Kuklis; and infant son, Thomas Kevin.
Memorials are suggested to the family in his name for later designation. Online condolences may be shared at berrymanfuneralhome.com.
Berryman Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Published by The Grand Island Independent on Nov. 17, 2020.