Basil Kulka, 87 of Sheffield, PA was welcomed into the arms of the Lord on Wednesday, May 4, 2023, at UPMC Hamot in Erie, PA.
“Base” was born September 27, 1935, in Ludlow, PA to Michael and Katherine (Kowal) Kulka. He was one of their 16 children. He graduated from Kane High School in 1953 where he excelled in many sports. This love of sports developed Basil into a superior athlete that opened many opportunities beyond high school. He played both baseball and basketball at the semi-pro level until he was drafted into the US Army. His athletic career continued even while he was enlisted. While playing football in the Army, his path crossed with Elvis Presley as they were stationed at the same military base in Germany. After discharge, he returned to continue his 47.5 year career with National Fuel Gas, retiring in 2001, as a Station Operator/Engineer at Roystone Station. The hard work ethic embedded in Basil’s upbringing drove a second career as a house painter. Between his National Fuel Gas shifts, he, along with numerous apprentices, could be found “beautifying” many of the homesteads of Sheffield.
On June 18, 1960, Basil married the love of his life, Trudy (Rogers) Kulka. He was a devoted, loving, and faithful husband for just shy of 63 years. Together they had 3 children, Mark (BJ) Kulka of Warren, Scott (Lorri) Kulka of Edinboro, and Kristi (Jeff) Kulka-Leichtenberger of Sheffield. He became “Papa” to 11 grandchildren: Mark and BJ’s children, Casey Jo and Kyle; Scott and Lorri’s children, Eric (Jenna), Kevin Basil (Allison), Chad, Brett, Ryan and Jenna; Kristi’s children, Kerryn (Saleena), Mariah (Corey), and Isaac, along with two stepchildren, Morgan and Tanner. Basil was later blessed by 7 great-grandchildren, Quinn, Harrison Basil, Nathan, Deacon, Ellis Basil, Lucy and Fiona.
Basil is survived by 3 sisters, Jennie DiFucci, Martha Devlin and Irene Haser along with many nieces and nephews.
He is proceeded in death by his parents, his brothers John, Mitro, Nick, Mike, and sisters Nellie, Mary, Olga, Kaye, Julia, and 3 infant siblings.
With his love of sports, Basil could be found for generations in the bleachers or on the sidelines of his kids and grandkids’ sporting events. A loyal, knowledgeable fan that most times kept statistics to document and encourage their athletic development. Along with his love of sports, he was an avid outdoorsman where his Jeep would have been found in the woods, hunting, or on the streams, fishing, anywhere in the Warren and McKean County region.
For over 60 years he was a member of the Sheffield United Methodist Church, he was also a member of the Ludlow American Legion
A Memorial Service will be held Thursday, May 11, 2023, at 12:00 noon at Sheffield United Methodist Church, 11 West Main Street in Sheffield PA, with Reverend Douglas Brink presiding. Military Honors will be rendered by the Sheffield VFW Honor Guard. All are welcome to join the family for a Luncheon immediately following. Memorial contributions can be made to Sheffield United Methodist Church 11 West Main Street, PO Box 771, Sheffield, PA 16347. The arrangements are under the care of the Borden Funeral Home in Sheffield, PA.
To send an online condolence for Basil Kulka, please visit www.bordenfuneralhome.com.
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