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Dorothy Kuklok, age 89, of St. Paul, MN, died Thursday, October 22, 2015, the University of Minnesota Fairview Hospital in Minneapolis.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, October 27, 2015, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Royalton, MN, with visitation at the church from 9:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday. Interment will be in the parish cemetery. A Christian Mothers Rosary will be said at 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday.
Dorothy Elizabeth Kuklok, the second daughter of Philip and Rose Smieja, was born on November 16, 1925 in rural Morrison County Minnesota. She grew up on her parents farm near Royalton, attending District 29A Country School to the 8th grade. After that, like so many farm kids at the time, she worked on the family farm. On October 24th, 1923, just before her 20th birthday, Dorothy married Alfred Kuklok from nearby Langola Township (Rice and Foley). They began raising a family and farming near Rice. Alfred began to work for the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1951, the year they moved to St Paul and Dorothy gave birth to her 4th son. Times were hard, money was scarce for the young couple. Alfred continued to work for the railroad and Dorothy began to work as a waitress to help make ends meet; first at the St Clair Sweet Shop, then at Lees Village Inn in Highland where she worked evenings, weekends and holidays for over 15 years. Dorothy was an active member of St Cecelias parish for 18 years, raising her family in a Catholic home.
In 1963, at the age of 38, Dorothy added a daughter, Annette, to her family of four boys. Starting in 1968, her life changed, as the Burlington Northern Railroad transferred them to Moorhead, then Spokane, Vancouver Washington (1969), Billings Montana (1973) and Duluth (1979). Dorothy became a full time homemaker, dedicated to raising her young daughter. She became well known for her sewing and cooking skills, especially her poppy seed coffee cake, a Polish family tradition.
When Alfred retired from the railroad in 1981, they began to work together as condominium managers where they lived, first at 1700 Lexington in Lilydale, and later at Opus in Hopkins. They were a perfect team, keeping their condos as neat and clean and operational as their own little unit. Everybody knew, loved and depended on them and hated to see them finally retire in 2001.
One highlight in her life was her 50th wedding anniversary, in 1994. She and Alfred renewed their vows in the same church where they were married, and hosted a family gathering attended by hundreds. Sadly, eight years later, in 2002, Dorothy lost Alfred to cancer. She continue to live in Hopkins, marking birthdays and anniversaries with family and friends.
In 2009, at the age of 84 she moved to an apartment at Rosewood Estates (later renamed Keystone Senior Living) to be closer to her family. She lived there independently with her constant companion, Henry (her canary). She continued to go to family gatherings and events; her 90th birthday celebration in Royalton brought together nearly 125 people and Dorothy even danced to old time polka music. Thus it was a surprise that just two days later she suffered a heart attack and, surrounded by family members, died from complications on Thursday evening, October 22nd at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in St. Paul.
Dorothy Elizabeth Smieja Kuklok is survived by her five children, Ronald (Janice) of Pinehurst, North Carolina; Jerome (Suellen) of Lilydale; Dennis of Brinnon Washington; Robert (Mary Dee) of Northfield, and Annette (William) Klein of St. Paul, as well as ten grandchildren; Christopher (Kathy), Nicholas, Allison, Douglas (Shannon), Audrey and Kelly Ann, Sara (Adam), Wendy (Eric), Kelly (Mike) and Jenny (Jesse), and nine great grandchildren;Brooklyn, Brady, Charlie, Jenna, Sam, Maddy, Leo, Olivia and Caitlin.
She is also survived by five sisters; Leona, Josephine, Louise, Clara and Janet.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred Florian, her father, Philip Smieja, her mother Rose Fussy Smieja, two sisters, Loretta and Mary Ann, one brother, Philip Junior, one daughter in law, Suzanne, and one grandson, Philip.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the family. The family will distribute memorials to Dorothys favorite charity.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
9:00 - 11:00am (Central time)
Emblom Brenny Funeral Service - Little Falls
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Starts at 11:00am (Central time)
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
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