Francis L. Kukuk, 93, Lansing, died Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. He was born June 25,1927 in Ottawa, Kansas, the son of Harold and Ella Kukuk.
In December 1949, Francis married Sara Mills. She preceded him in death in 1973. He was also preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Bill Kukuk; and a sister, Anita Ella James.
Francis is survived by his current spouse, Scotty Brezgiel; three daughters, Diana Bishop (Ron), Atchison, Kansas, Susan Tindall, Tecumseh, Kanas, and Jill Kukuk, Dallas, Texas; and a son, Rodney Kukuk (Lori), McLouth, Kansas; two sisters, Janice Asselin, Topeka, Kansas, and Donna Swisher, Overbrook, Kansas; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Frank loved telling stories of his life as a child; helping his mother milk the cows before school, carrying his sister to school on his shoulders, working with his father for the Santa Fe Railroad when he was 15 breaking up rock, laying track and often flagging down trains when men were working on the tracks; assisting farmers by gathering hay and bringing in the cows for milking.
He joined the Navy following graduation from High School and served on a mine sweeper in the Pacific during the remainder of WWII. He served in the Reserves the following 10 years.
Francis attended Emporia State University receiving a bachelor’s degree in education. Over the years he continued his education and obtained a Master’s Degree. He taught and coached in a number of schools in Kansas working his way up through the various positions until he was hired as Assistant Superintendent of the Leavenworth School System in 1968. One of his first duties was to hire teachers for the newly constructed West Junior High School. He hired a total of 72 teachers over a period of two years to fill many positions in the School System. He became Superintendent in 1970.
In 1978 he took a position as Administrator for the International School of Bangkok Thailand, serving three years before returning to the States. In 1983 he accepted a position in Monterrey, Mexico as the Director of the American School Foundation of Monterrey. When he returned to Leavenworth, he was the Principal of David Brewer school until his retirement in 1988.
He loved working with Ft. Leavenworth and the Officer Exchange program. He met many of the officers that were in School here in Leavenworth in Asia and enjoyed telling about his experiences with the various individuals and their countries.
Francis was very active in many of the Civic Clubs in Leavenworth. In his later years, he was on the Board of Directors and active at The Heritage Center. He was responsible for obtaining Emporia State University as a renter at the Center. He also enjoyed visiting with the folks who attended the various activities, games and the musical programs at the Center.
A Celebration of Life will be in the Spring of 2021. Arrangements are entrusted to R.L. Leintz Funeral Home. Memorials are suggested to The Heritage Center, 109 Delaware, Leavenworth, KS. 66048, or the Leavenworth Public Schools Education Foundation, 200 N. 4th, Leavenworth, KS. 66048. The Family looks forward to seeing Francis’s friends in the Spring. A memory of Francis may be posted at www.leintzfh.com.
Posted online on October 23, 2020