COOPERSTOWN - William E. Kukenberger Sr. "Pops," 91, of Beaver Meadow Road, Cooperstown, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, at his home surrounded by family and friends, following a brief illness.
William was born on March 24, 1926, the son of Louis and Anna (Borstnar) Kukenberger. He was one of six children.
He attended school in a one-room school house located at the intersection of County Route 33 and Beaver Meadow Road in Cooperstown. After schooling, he chose to take over the family farm, where he continued to live and work.
He met and fell in love with his mother's nurse, Elizabeth Rosecrans. They were married on Feb. 12, 1966. They were blessed with two children, William E Kukenberger Jr. and Wayne E. Kukenberger. They continued to have the traditional farm family life, experiencing what some can only imagine.
After semi-retiring from farming in 1980, he opened a small engine repair shop which he successfully operated for many years.
He enjoyed gardening and playing card games with his friends and brother and sister-in-law. He loved canning, making pickles, freezing vegetables from his garden and spending time with his family. He always looked forward to a good meal. He loved his daughter-in-law's lasagna.
Being true to his Slovenian heritage, he also enjoyed playing the harmonica and listening to polka music.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth of 51 years; his son and daughter-in-law, William and Colleen (Lafler) Kukenberger. He is also survived by nephews, Frank (Ruth) Kukenberger of Cooperstown, Edward (Eileen) Kukenberger of Fly Creek, Robert (Claudia) Kukenberger of Cazenovia, Joseph (Carrie) Kukenberger of Cooperstown and Larry (Patty) Kukenberger of Cooperstown; and his nieces, Cynthia Kukenberger and Robert Kolka of Cooperstown, Theresa and John Fisher of Oneonta and Patricia Cook of Port Charlotte, Florida. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Dennis Decker of Florida; his wife's nephews and their wives, Robert and Laura Payne of Washington, D.C. and Richard and Loretta Payne of Cobleskill. He also is survived by many other great-nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.
He was predeceased by his parents, Louis and Anna Kukenberger; son, Wayne E., his siblings, Louis, Frank (Mary), Lody (Elizabeth), Annie and Rose (Leonard) Bentley. He is also predeceased by his sister-in-law, Barbara Decker; brother-in-law, and wife, Richard and Sally Payne; as well as his nephew, Ronald Cook.
The Kukenberger family extends a special thank you to Melissa and Mel and her children. They also thank the doctors and nurses at Bassett Healthcare, as well as the Hospice nurses. They all made his last days comfortable. Pops was able to live his entire life looking at the fields that he loved so much. We love you Pops Godspeed.
Calling hours will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Christ Episcopal Church Parish Hall on Saturday, Oct. 21, on Fair Street in Cooperstown. Funeral service will follow in the church at 1 p.m. with the Rev. Dane Boston officiating. Burial will be private at the convenience of the family.
The family invites everyone to a Celebration of Life after the funeral service to be held at the Hartwick No. 1 Fire Department located at 3088 County Route 11 in Hartwick.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Catskill Area Hospice in Oneonta.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the Tillapaugh Funeral Home.
Published on October 18, 2017