Juozas Kuliukas

Juozas  Kuliukas (1918-1998)

Juozas Kuliukas was born in 1918 in Lithuania at the same time the country he loved was just starting out as an independent nation. His life was hard, by anyone's standards. He was the only one out of three boys to make it to adulthood from his family and his father died when he was little too. Having to do a man's work on their farm meant he had to miss out on an education he wanted so much and would surely have excelled at.
But just as things started to recover, when he was getting on top of the farm and beginning to make a success of it all, Hitler and Stalin decided to ruin everything. He was forced to leave his homeland and fight with the Red Army for a dictator he always considered the most evil man in the World. Thousands of Lithuanians, who had a similar fate, perished in the war. But our Dad’s fate was not to do so. He would survive.

After the war he came, like hundreds of thousands of East European refugees, to
England to try to rebuild his life. He was able to find work as a coal miner and then had the best piece of fortune he would ever have. He met his wife Christine, our Mum.

They settled down and bought a house in Kirkby, where he would spend his last 45 years. They began to raise a family. Everything, it would seem, was set for a normal, happy life after all.

But disaster struck again. On September 14th 1962 Dad was working at the  face down Bentinck pit when he was suddenly buried by an avalanche of coal.

He spent the next six months in hospital but it soon became apparent that Dad would have to spend the rest of his days getting around in a wheelchair. The doctors told him he could expect only 17 more years after such a terrible accident. But it was for more than 35 years that he put up with the unimaginable discomfort that is normal life for paraplegics.

Dad died on 4th January 1998 in the Ashfield Clinic in Kirkby-in-Ashfield at the age of almost 80 after a succession of illnesses finally, and quickly, caught up with him. He leaves his wife Christine, a daughter Irena, son Algis and six grand-children.






A mass was held for him at Our Lady Help of Christian’s Roman Catholic Church, Kirkby-in-Ashfield on Friday 16th January after which he was cremated in Mansfield. The priest was Father F Higgins and the undertakers were K Gregories and Sons.

 Mourners present were…

Mr & Mrs P. Baranauskas, Miss L. Baugh, Mr & Mrs B. Bissett, Mrs J. Booth, Mr & Mrs W. Burton, Mrs S. Clark, Mrs J. Clarke, Mr B. Conlon, Mrs A. Edis, Mr J. Fesker, Mrs Fishburn, Mrs Guchniwicz, Miss P. Husband, Miss M. Husband, Mr & Mrs F. H. Jasnoch, Mrs A. Johnson, Mr & Mrs  W. Joyce, Mrs L. Kavaliauskas, Mr & Mrs R. Kavaliauskas, Mr & Mrs V. Kavaliauskas, Mr J. Kukstas, Mr & Mrs A. Kuliukas, Mr & Mrs M. Kyng, Mr J. Moorley, Mr J. Newcombe representing Mrs M. & Mrs P. Newcombe, Mr & Mrs D. Newcombe, Mr F. O’Connor, Mrs W. Orgill, Mr & Mrs J. Pawlak, Mr G. Pustelnik, Mrs M. Smith, Mrs Szunelko, Mr S. Turton, Mrs L. Walace representing Kirkby District Nurses.

Floral tributes were received from…

Ona & Husband, Mrs L. Kavaliauskas, Mr & Mrs R. Kavaliauskas, Mr & Mrs V. Kavaliauskas, Mr & Mrs A. Kuliukas, Mr & Mrs D. Newcombe and Mr S. Vitkus.

He will be remembered as a man who was always intensely patriotic to his beloved Lithuania, where his ashes will find their final resting place.

Algis Kuliukas