Gregory S Kulas Sr., 83, passed away peacefully on January 14, 2021, surrounded by his family.
Greg was born June 25, 1937, in Milwaukee, to Stanley and Margaret P. (Ciecholinski) Kulas. He attended St Anthony’s Elementary School until 1948 when his father died. His mother moved back to her hometown of Stevens Point with Greg and his younger brother Kenneth.
Greg then went to St. Stan’s Elementary School and P.J. Jacobs High School for his freshman year. His mother remarried in 1952 and they moved to Wisconsin Rapids. He attended Assumption High School and graduated as valedictorian of the first graduating class in 1955. He attended Central State College (now UWSP) and then transferred to Marquette University, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics.
Greg met his future wife, Ruth Ann Stoeberl, his freshman year of college through their involvement in the Newman Center. Greg and Ruth were married on January 2, 1960, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hubbard Woods, Ill. They recently celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary.
In August of 1961, they moved to Stevens Point where Greg began a 37-year career teaching physics, and later, astronomy. He was a member of many university committees throughout his career and served as the director of the observatory and planetarium. At the time of his retirement in 1997, he was the senior (longest-serving) member of the university faculty.
Greg and Ruth were blessed with seven children—six sons and one daughter—between 1961 and 1971. Ruth was a stay-at-home mother, and with one income there was not a lot of extra money for frills. Family vacations were camping trips within Wisconsin. The big memorable family vacation was a two-week camping trip out west, visiting several national parks.
Greg loved the outdoors and roaming through the woods. A favorite camping spot was Mondeaux Flowage in Taylor County. On a camping trip in 1986, he found 40 acres of woodland with a pond and a rickety old cabin in Taylor County and purchased it. A new cabin was built and he was adamant that it be rustic, and it was—no electricity and no indoor plumbing. He was fond of saying “we have running water, you just have to run out to the pump to get it.” Many weekends and deer seasons were spent at the cabin with his sons and grandchildren.
Greg and Ruth were founding members of Newman Parish where he served on the finance council, parish council and also was a reader and Eucharistic minister. While he missed the intimacy of the small Newman Parish, he totally supported the merger with St. Stan’s to become Holy Spirit Parish.
Greg joined the Bill Cook Chapter of the Izaak Walton League in the 1960s. He was an active member until the last few years when his health declined. He served on the Board of Directors, the rifle range committee, worked at the annual Fisherees, and served two terms as president.
Greg was proud of his children and their accomplishments and the fact that they all graduated from Pacelli High School.
Greg is survived by his wife, Ruth, and their seven children and 18 grandchildren: Gregory and Kathy Kulas, Daniel, Michael, and Sarah, Iron Mountain, MI, Stephen and Pam Kulas, Noah, Maddie, and Lydia, Appleton, WI, Mary, and Kevin Nordt, Emily, Sophia, Claire, Michael, and Katie, Wenatchee, WA, Michael and Anita Kulas, Leah and Paul, Madison, WI, Christopher, and Nicole Kulas, Andrew, Jack, and Sam, Flower Mound, TX, David Kulas, Stevens Point, WI, and Thomas and Donna Kulas, Jacob and Kaleigh, Stow, MA. He is further survived by his two brothers Kenneth Kulas, Stevens Point, and Ric (Lorry) Walters, Plover, and two nephews Kendric (Maria) Walters, and their daughter Miri, Plover, and Ben (Ali) Walters, West Allis, WI, and one sister-in-law Susan Stoeberl, Stevens Point.
He was preceded in death by his maternal and paternal grandparents, and his parents Stanley and Margaret Kulas.
The family wishes to express their thanks and gratitude to the staff at Brookdale Assisted Living and Heartland Hospice for their kind and compassionate care of Greg.
Due to COVID restrictions, a private family memorial mass was celebrated at Holy Spirit Parish, followed by a burial at Guardian Angel Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Holy Spirit Parish, Operation Bootstrap, or Pacelli High School.
Online condolences may be sent by visiting www.shudafuneral.com.