The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

William 'Bill' Kuki

 

William "Bill" Kuki, 74, passed away on Friday, May 6, 2016, at Park Place Nursing Home of complications from brain tumors.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, May 11, at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1226 1st Avenue North, Great Falls. A graveside service will be held on Saturday, May 14, at 11 a.m. at the Hillview Cemetery in Hinsdale.

He was born on June 30, 1941, in Butte, Mont., to Erick and Ina (Salo) Kuki. When he was a small child, the family moved to the Salo farm south of Hinsdale. He attended grade school in Hinsdale and graduated from Hinsdale High School in 1959. He attended college at Northern Montana College for a year, before embarking in a career in road construction as a heavy equipment operator. He had a special talent for operating heavy equipment and was a member of the Operating Engineers Union Local 400.

Early in his career, he met the love of his life, Louise Zeiger. He swept Louise off her feet and they were married on Sept. 28, 1964. He and Louise traveled the Big Sky Country following the road construction jobs to wherever Bill's talents were needed. In 1978, he was the champion of the Montana Heavy Equipment Safety Rodeo competition.

In his spare time, he assisted his dad on the family farm. After the death of his father, he took over the family farm and began working for the Valley County Road Department. His employment with the road department lasted 18 years until his retirement. He continued to farm and work as a gas well pumper for Nobel Energy. He enjoyed being out in the country every day checking on the gas wells to ensure they were operating correctly.

He and Louise had three daughters, Michelle, Lynn and Denise. Lynn passed away in 1976 in a tragic farm accident. Denise passed away in 2013 in a car accident. Bill's family was the focal point of his life and he was a special figure in the lives of his grandchildren. He enjoyed taking his grandkids out to the reservoir to hunt for turtles and frogs, as well as other adventures. He welcomed hunters to his farm and took great pleasure in watching his grandkids and family hunt. Michelle and her kids looked forward to the annual hunting trips each year. He also enjoyed teaching his grandson, Christian, about mechanics. There were no shortages of projects on the farm and the two enjoyed doing whatever needed to be done.

In 2010, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He recovered from the surgery and went on to live normally.

In 2014, he and Louise sold the family farm and moved to Sun Prairie Estates, near Great Falls, so they could be closer to their daughter and grandchildren.

In March of this year, he was diagnosed with new brain tumors, which after a brief battle, took his life. He lived life to the fullest and his family was the love of his life.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Erick and Ina Kuki; and two daughters, Lynn and Denise.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Louise; one daughter, Michelle Neumann, and her husband, James; five grandchildren, Christian, Emily and Ericka Neumann, and Kasey and Lacee Kuki. He is also survived by many close friends and extended family.

 

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