Jerome R. “Jerry” Kulas, age 86, of Winona, Minn., passed away on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at his home.
Jerome was born on November 10, 1931, to Harry J. and Mary M. (Pehler) Kulas, in Winona, Minn., the eldest of three boys. He went to Saint Stanislaus Catholic grade school, and Cotter High School.
In 1945, his family moved to a farm in the Wilson area, where he farmed with his family until going into the Army in 1952. He took basic training as a tank driver at Fort Knox, Ky., then as a field radio mechanic, also at Ft. Knox. He was sent to Korea, and served for a year as a field radio mechanic. Conditions were very much as seen on TV M.A.S.H. episodes, living in tents, etc. The cease fire had been signed while on the way over, so there was no more fighting.
After his Honorable Discharge in 1954, he married Delores Elaine Koeller at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, in Winona, Minn. In 1955, they moved to Winona and he started work at Peter Bub Brewery. He later worked for four years at Fiberite as a boiler engineer and mechanic. He and Delores had three sons, David Allan, Roger Paul and Donald Mark. Delores died of cancer in 1984, just one month short of 30 years of marriage.
He then married Jeannette M. (Galewski) Wick at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, on May 11, 1985, and they were later divorced. He retired in 1997 after 25 years at Froedtert Malt Corp. as a millwright and boiler engineer. All his life he enjoyed building and fixing things, welding and especially metal fabrication. He liked operating boilers, (holding a Minnesota chief “B” license). He also taught classes on boiler operation for 10 years at the vocational school to help promote safe boiler operation.
He loved the outdoors, especially fishing, with his wife, his sons, stepsons, grandchildren, a friend anytime possible, and especially with Lyle Ziegweid.
He is survived by sons, David Kulas, Winona, Roger, (Mary) Kulas, Winona, Donald, (Lisa) Kulas, Winona; step-children, Linda Uhlendorf (Kurt), Stockton, Minn., Robert J. (Michele) Wick, Rushford, Minn., Stacy Reed, Dakota, Minn.; one brother, Franklin Kulas, Wilson, Minn.; one grandchild, Alainah Kulas; 17 step-grandchildren; 16 step-great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews; and many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, George Kulas.
Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, at the Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home, where Jerry’s cousin, Fr. Paul Breza, will lead the Recitation of the Most Holy Rosary at 6:30 p.m. Following the Rosary, there will be a time to share memories of Jerry. Visitation will also be held from noon until the Mass of Christian Burial at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka. The Reverend Monsignor Thomas J. Hargesheimer and the Reverend Paul J. Breza will concelebrate.
Jerry will be laid to rest in St. Mary’s Cemetery, where the American Legion Leon J. Wetzel Post 9 of Winona will provide military honors.
Pallbearers will be Jerry’s grandsons, Matt Blom, Andrew Blom, Todd Welter, Nathan Wick, Jeremy Wick, Dylan Reed, Collin Reed, and Lance Glover.
Online condolences or memories may be left for Jerry’s family at www.watkowski-mulyck.com.
Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.