Wally Kuriata, 73Published 9:58am Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Walter “Wally” H. Kuriata, 73
Born: Feb. 2, 1939
Died: Nov. 18, 2012
Wally’s life began on Feb. 2, 1939, in Rudnia, Poland, the son of Hipolit and Lydia (Sockwell) Kuriata. The family immigrated to the United States in 1949 after living in a displaced persons camp after World War II.
The family later moved to Dowagiac, where Wally attended Central High School, graduating in the Class of 1958.
After high school, he proudly served his country as a medic in the U.S. Army, from 1962 to 1964.
Wally was a true entrepreneur. He ran several businesses, including Kuriata’s Antenna Service. Wally was an avid fisherman and even created his own fishing board game called “Fish On” that sold across the region.
He always had a positive spirit, often whistling or smiling wherever he went. Wally never met a stranger as he was a friend to everybody. He is best described as happy go-lucky and a selfless giver and was a caretaker to many. He was also known for raising funds and supporting local organizations, such as the Elks and Lions clubs. He often gave away more local fruit and vegetables than imaginable, and did not take no for an answer if you refused. Wally was an excellent cook and learned many of his Polish delicacies from his mother and carried on the traditions of his motherland. Walter was a parishioner at Holy Maternity of Mary Catholic Church. His loving family includes: his children Dr. Mark (Shelley) Kuriata of St. Joseph, and Sheila (Daniel) Davin of Chicago; grandchildren, Elyse (David) Putnam, Christopher Kuriata, Alexander Kuriata, Zachary Kuriata, Ryan Hogan and Joshua Davin; a brother, John (Maureen) Kuriata of Dowagiac; several nieces and nephews; his longtime companion, Sharon Nelson of Dowagiac; and the mother of his children, Dolores Kuriata.
Wally passed away peacefully on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, at Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph surrounded by friends and family.
He is preceded in death by: his parents; sister, Marie Mennite;and brothers, Daniel, Edward and Ted Kuriata.
His family will gather with friends on Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Yazel and Clark Chapel, where a rosary service will be at 7 p.m. led by Deacon Frank Wesolowski. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Holy Maternity of Mary Catholic Church led by Father Kevin Covert. Wally will be laid to rest in Riverside Cemetery with military honors following the service.
A traditional Polish meal will also be held afterwards to celebrate the life of this cheerful, giving and loving family man. Memorial contributions in his name may be directed to the Kuriata family for which a trust will be made. Please sign his guestbook and leave a memory of Wally at www.yazel-clark.com.