Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Obituary (Star Tribune)

Justin Kukowski, 27, of Chaska, died peacefully on Monday, March 12, 2007, after a courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by his loving family and friends.

Funeral Service will be held Saturday, March 17, 11 a.m. at Crown of Glory Lutheran Church, 1141 Cardinal Street, Chaska, with the Rev. James Rothschiller officiating. The visitation will be Friday, March 16, 3-8 p.m. at the Bertas Funeral Home, 200 West Third Street, Chaska, and also one hour prior to service on Saturday. Casketbearers will be Trevor Kukowski, Tory Kukowski, Brandon Kukowski, Seth Ressie, Zachary Ressie, and Aaron Clark. Honorary casketbearers will be Tami Sass, Kristel Marquardt, Leah Kukowski, Kelsie Kukowski, Carter Kukowski, Cole Kukowski, Chantel Ressie, Courtney Kukowski, Brenden Kukowski, Tyler Kukowski, Lacy Hennessy and Morgan Hennessy, Alexi Trocinski, Benjamin Trocinski, and Abi Trocinski.

Justin was born March 3, 1980 in Shakopee to Donald and Kathleen (Hennessy) Kukowski. He was one of two sons. He was baptized and confirmed at Crown of Glory Lutheran Church, Chaska. He graduated from Chaska High School in 1999, and attended the U of M in Minneapolis, and then graduated from the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs, with a degree in Mathematics. Justin had been employed at Wells Fargo Bank after moving back to Minnesota in 2004. He played baseball and ran cross-country for the Chaska Hawks, and also played American Legion baseball. He was an avid Minnesota Twins and Green Bay Packers fan. He enjoyed golfing, playing softball, fishing, and hiking. He had many friends in Minnesota and Colorado, and thoroughly loved spending time with his family and friends.

Survivors include his parents, Donald and Victoria Kukowski of Chaska, Kathleen Hennessy and Bob Rehbein of Cologne; brother and sister-in-law, Kyle and Jeni of Wichita, Kan.; stepsister and stepbrother, Teresa (Jason) Karsten of New Brighton, Nathan (Stacy) Stuhaug of Fertile; nephews and nieces, Weston, Hudson J.J., Ryan, Michael, Tyler, Tysen, Cale, and Mya (his goddaughter); grandparents, August and Orphie Kukowski of Stockton, Bernard and Mary Hennessy of Lewiston; best friend, Andrew Hipps of Eden Prairie; many other relatives and friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the family. Justin was preceded in death by, grandmothers Rose Hennessy, Beverly Hennessy, and nephew Jaden Karsten. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the family.

If you would like to briefly share how Justin influenced you in your life, you will have the opportunity to do so at the funeral.


Anonymous said...

To Justin's Family....

To our dear friends Don and Vicki. Words alone cannot express Duffy's and my sincere sympathy in your loss of Justin. As the song goes, "You light up my life" has no better meaning to us than Justin. His huge smile, his positive outlook on life will always be with us. He did make lemonade, when our good Lord gave him lemons.

Your journey has been a long tough, exausting one, both phisically and mentally. You gave 110% of yourselves for Justin. Noboby could ask for better role models than you. In turn Justin was a role model for us. Life looks much different to us after walking with Justin in the last year and a half.

He was a bright beacon of faith to all of us.

Today the sun is shining just a little brighter because of Justin.He never never gave up and he always had hope. He is at peace now with his Lord. Heaven is full of smiles today welcoming Justin home. I am sure he has already made arrangements so that he can watch his beloved Packers, and Brett Farve play on Sunday's
in the fall.

Justin, "People never die as long as there are memories" ... you will always be with us as we continue our journey in life.

Until we meet again....


Mike and Duffy

PS. Don/Vicki - Bob/Kathleen what a testement your great love of Justin for taking him on his last trip. A 6,000 mile journey across the U.S. with the poeple he loved. There is no greater love than that of a parent for a child.

Dianne said...

To Team Justin, family and friends,

May you all feel God’s love and the love of family and friends surrounding you at this difficult time. We remember all the orange caps at last year’s race showing overwhelming support and encouragement for Justin proving our race is about much more than winning and Team Justin demonstrated that. As we are just a couple weeks away from this year’s event, Justin, his family, and friends are in our hearts reinforcing the fact that our job is obviously not done yet.

We truly feel your loss and share your sorrow. When someone you treasure becomes a memory, your memory becomes a treasure.

Dianne – Fool’s Five Road Race

Anonymous said...

To Justin's family and Andrew....

You are all amazing! What inspiration and role models you are for the rest of us. I'm sure Justin is as proud of you as you are of him. Justin was certainly a class act to the end...and the same can be said about you.
On behalf of the men in the Wednesday night men's Bible study group in Fairfield, Ca.: "We know Justin is with our Lord~~smiling. You have our deepest sympathy. You are in our thoughts and in our prayers. God be with you and bring you comfort and peace during your time of sorrow, and may He bless you always."

Jaime G.

Anonymous said...

Kathleen, Bob, Don, Vicki, Andrew, and all those who loved Justin,

May the grace of God bring you the comfort and strength you need during this difficult time. Justin, and each of you, are true inspirations for love, compassion, and lives well lived. Thank you for sharing Justin with us all.

Nat J.

Jon Maier said...

Andrew, you and Justin did a wonderful job with the site/blog. You were able to touch us so much more beyond belief. For all that were there for Justin during his time of need, I also say thank you. And thanks one more time for that uplifting you tube video.

Tina Rue said...

To the Kukowski Family -

We are so very sad to hear the passing of Justin. Justin was filled with such a positive energy and could always make us smile.

He will be missed.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Tina(Harvath)and Dan Rue

Anonymous said...

This blog has become a daily part of many of our lives.Many of us probably found ourselves checking it throughout the day. I am thankful to each person that had a part in making it happen-but especially Justin and Andrew for allowing us to share and travel along the way.It made us aware of the happenings-whether happy or sad-and gave us opportunities to communicate and share our innermost feelings and love. We came to know people we have never even met. We all had a main focus and that was our love and concern for Justin. He shared many things with us, as we did with him. We felt his love for his family and friends and for The Lord. I was fortunate enough to have been able to stay a few days to help do cares and have time and memorable moments together. Times we laughed and times we were teary.I was able to share in the visit with his Pastor as we talked about cancer and death and the beautiful assurance of HEAVEN. I recall Pastor saying how he and his wife had spoke the evening before-and as difficult as this is-saying "He's got it!" He knows he will be in Heaven. And Justin wants each one of us to have that, too! He shared something that was very important to him-he wants each of his friends and family to be in Heaven with him someday, too. Throughout the past 18 months, most of us at some time, probably wondered what we could do for Justin. In those moments shared, it became very clear.
May the Lord give everyone the strength and faith they need as He carries us thru the next few days and each day after!!
God's Blessings!!
Auntie Heide

Anonymous said...

You have done an amazing service to Justin, his family, and friends. This blog has been a very powerful place for people. You have touched people as much as Justin has. Thank you,
Amy (Bruner) Onson

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