(8 January 1920 - 31 August 2012)
  • Gregory Kulakoff
    Eulogy for My Father
    Walter (Wally) Kulakoff | August 31, 2012

    This is the first time in my life that I came to my parents’ home and my mother was alone. The man who had the most influence in my life passed away on August 31st, 2012. Gregory Kulakoff – was born on 8th January 1920.

    It has been said that the loss of a parent is one of life's most traumatic events. I now know - the devastating truth of that statement. I've been told that, in time, the hurt will fade, only to be replaced by positive memories that sooth the soul. Already, I can feel that happening. Maybe it's because my father and I had a simple and loving relationship. He was a remarkably good man, like many of the inspiring role models and mentors who frequently appear in pages of the Holy Bible. Moses, Joshua, Abraham, Jacob, David, Jeremiah or the very Apostles that walked with Jesus. Like them, he was a man of devotion and integrity, a man who understood a hard day's work. Yet, like most of them, he never had the advantage of a college education. He worked pretty much his entire life in two places: a farm and then a factory.

    His core accomplishments were family, prayer and devotion to God. And as his 4th child, I was the lucky beneficiary. My father poured vast amounts of love and energy into me during my most formative years. That is why I measure his life in the warehouse of photographs and movies he created for me in my mind. It is why I measure it in the size of his hard working hands. Because what I remember most about my father are those sandpaper-rough hands, made rugged from factory work. From my earliest days, he took my hand in his and we discovered the world together. We prayed together, sang together, laughed together, and he taught me how to drive a Land Rover truck. It was Dad’s storied about God, Jesus Christ and the universe that I came to understand Salvation, Christ’s death, resurrection and heaven.

    With his hand in mine, we walked through fields, acres of Paw-paw trees, we raised chickens, ducks, turkeys, calves, pigeons, and he taught me to ride a bike, and taught me to train a steer and harness his strength. Dad could paint a picture with words that have stayed with me for life. I have retold his stories a hundred fold and they too were encouraged. I still remember his stories as a soldier, a romantic young man in search of love, and his struggle to bring his family to a FREE country, his desire to see his children enjoy freedom in an effort to reach their greatest potential. Dad lived so others could enjoy life!

    And I remember these things as if we had done them all last week -- because we did them again and again and again, his outstretched hand leading me everywhere. I remember my times with my father as vividly as a great piece of poetry where you know every word, every pause, every suggestion he gave and inspired me to become a man where you sensed God’s pleasure. Today I am a Christian because he was a Holy man, a man whose heart beat after God’s will, God’s way and his desire to understand God and glorify Him, drove me to new heights!

    He did that for me, and because he did, we will always travel together. As my father neared death, I put my hand in his as often as I could. I prayed with him, held him and wanted him to know that I was with him on his final journey on earth. We have travelled together for 60 years!

    The loss of my father has been painful, yet also strangely reaffirming because it has made me ever more aware of the rewards of our wonderful partnership. Perhaps the most consoling words came from a colleague who e-mailed me with the words: "Think of the legacy he left you – a devoted father, a God fearing man, a prayer warrior, a preacher, a teacher and left you curious about life, a hunger for knowledge, a passion for the outdoors, an example of a life whose riches owe little to money, a sense that anything is possible if you work hard, a model of what a father should be. Those are all great and unforgettable gifts."

    As he lay dying in a hospital bed, his last conscious words to his children were: “Trust in the Lord and He will take care of you!” Then he said his farewell to each by name and told us to – “Trust God.”

    "Dad - I love you."
    Uploaded by Walter Kulakoff
    • 11 years ago
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