April 13, 1928 - August 30, 2019
Watertown, WI -- George Herbert Lester Kuckkan, 91, entered heaven on August 30, 2019. George lived his entire 91 years in Watertown, WI. He grew up in the Union Park neighborhood on South Monroe Street, surrounded by lifelong neighborhood friends: the Stecklings, Kressins, Kruegers, Wades, Jaehrlings, and Schultzes. He was the fourth of five boys, and the first son to graduate from Watertown High School while his three older brothers fought in WWII. George then entered the National Guard, where he served for nine years. George met his wife, Kaye, of 67 years at The Grill on Main Street, the present day Vogue Cleaners. Their first date was at the Savoy Theatre on Main Street, the current home of Bank First, to see Claude Raines in 'The Phantom of the Opera.' Their dates often ended at Zwieg's Grill, where George ordered a plain hamburger, a glass of chocolate milk, and mashed potatoes with gravy at the lunch counter.
George enjoyed a 44-year career as the Circulation Manager of The Watertown Daily Times. He managed hundreds of teenagers and motor route drivers who served as newspaper carriers. George implemented subscription contests, played a key role in the Times' expansion into rural areas, took photographs, and worked on special projects. He truly loved his work, greatly valued the many friendships of co-workers, and adored meeting with customers and engaging with carriers and their families. George was an avid sports fan of Marquette University, the University of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers, and Watertown Goslings. He was known to give a good tongue lashing to the Packers and his good-natured enthusiasm and armchair commentary kept the entire family laughing.
In addition to trips he'd taken with Kaye and their friends to Ireland and Hawaii, George loved family trips - with Door County being one of his favorite destinations to spend a week surrounded by grandkids, watching everyone play in the pool and, of course, enjoying the daily obligatory vacation Happy Hour! George had also traveled to Canada numerous times with his son and son-in-laws to fish for walleye in some very remote areas of Ontario. He greatly enjoyed the peace, solitude and commeradary of those trips.
George is survived by his wife, Mary Kaye Kuckkan; and four children: Karrie (Brent Aleshire), Patricia (Patrick Pearcy), Mary (Jay Costello), and Kevin (Missy) Kuckkan; 14 grandchildren: Katie (Mike Ruetz), Molly (Joe Corrao), Patrick Aleshire, Michael Aleshire (Morgan), Kathryn (Justin Hill), Molly Pearcy, Megan Costello (Nick Marzotto), Erin Costello, Jayne Costello, James Kuckkan, Elizabeth Kuckkan, Michael Kuckkan, Zander Strong, Maddie Strong; six great-grandchildren: Maddie, Giovanni, and Vincenzo Corrao, Cameron and Annie Ruetz, and Harold Marzotto; brother, Louis (Ora) Kuckkan; dear sister-in-law, Elayne Murphy of Oconomowoc; cousin, Kathy O'Malley of Palmyra; nephew, Roger (Sharon) Kuckkan; nieces: Heidi (Jim) Loving, Holly (Jeff) Juech, and Hanna (Rob) Gurl; and dear Chicago cousins: the McGiverns, Norketts, Masseys, and Sundquists. George was preceded in death by parents, Edward and Cora Kuckkan; and brothers: Harold, Edward, and Orville Kuckkan.
Visitation and Memorial Services will be held at Hafemeister Funeral Home on Friday, September 6, 2019 (visitation 9 a.m. -12 p.m., Memorial 12 p.m.-12:45 p.m.) followed by interment at St. Bernard's Cemetery.
The family wants to thank the entire staff of the Highland House and Rainbow Hospice, for their love and care of George. The family is also extremely appreciative of Anthony Chentis for George's last haircut and shave--he entered the next world looking as handsome as always!