Geraldine E. “Gerry” Kukuk
IRON MOUNTAIN — Geraldine E. “Gerry” Kukuk, 94, of Iron Mountain, passed away on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at Freeman Nursing & Rehabilitation Community in Kingsford.
Gerry was born March 16, 1926, in Marquette, daughter of the late Charles and Lucille (Epper) Beaudry. Gerry was a graduate of Marquette Graveraet High School in 1943. She worked at Franz Menze Construction Co. and in the Treasurer’s Department of the Marquette County Courthouse. Gerry loved the outdoors and enjoyed skiing and skating. She was named “Queen of the North of the Upper Peninsula” and was crowned at a ceremony at Michigan Tech University in 1946.
In 1948 she married her high school sweetheart, Ed Kukuk. They lived in Stambaugh for 17 years and moved to Iron Mountain in 1965. She was a very dedicated wife and stay-at-home mom. She attended all of the school and sports activities with her husband, Ed, who was a teacher, principal, and superintendent of schools.
Gerry was a caregiver to family members and was always there to give a kind and compassionate helping hand to neighbors and friends. Attending daily mass and working on church projects at Blessed Sacrament Church in Stambaugh and St. Mary and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Iron Mountain was most important in her life. Gerry instilled in us her strong Christian beliefs and love of Jesus.
In her spare time, she loved to swim, fish, hike, and go camping at Golden Lake. She enjoyed spending time at camp, working in her flower garden, cooking, knitting, sewing, and especially treasured time spent with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She attended all of their school activities and could always be heard encouraging the teams with her chant, “You can do it” no matter what the score.
She loved nature and told us to pay attention to the beauty that God had created. She always said that the pretty sunsets were God’s last smile of the day.
Gerry is survived by her son-in-law, Ron Tass of Iron Mountain; three grandchildren, Brian (Anne) Tass of Novi, Michelle (Tom) Phelps of Kingsford, and Steve (Nicole) Tass of Nashville; five great-grandchildren, Mya and Macy Tass and Tyler, Logan, and Makayla Phelps; six special nieces and nephews and their families, Mike (Liz) Quilliam, Pat (Jim) Covitz, Carol (Mick) Birkett, Kaye (Ralph) Scrivo, Dave (Cathy) Quilliam, and Diane (Craig) Swanson.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ed Kukuk in 2006; her daughter, Julie Tass in 2017; a sister, Dorothy and (Mike) Quilliam; and a brother-in-law, Norman “Boots” and (Grace) Kukuk.
A special thanks goes out to the dedicated staff at Freeman’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Community for the wonderful care they provided to Gerry.
A private family mass will be held at St. Mary and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Iron Mountain. Fr. Janusz Romanek will offer the Mass of Christian Burial. Burial will be in Iron Mountain Cemetery Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary and St. Joseph Church, St. Vincent de Paul, or to the charity of your choice.
Condolences to the family of Gerry Kukuk may be expressed online at www.ernashfuneralhomes.com.
The family has entrusted the Erickson-Rochon & Nash Funeral Home of Iron Mountain with the arrangements.