On March 23, 2021, Maria Kukla, age 95, left this world peacefully to join the love of her life, her husband, Ralph (Pops). Maria was a strong and amazing woman. She lived a long and eventful life. Dementia took her mind but not her spirit. She laughed until the end telling her stories in Polish to family who did not speak the language.
Maria was born in Poland in 1925. As a teenager during WWII she was taken from her family home in Poland to work on a farm in Germany. She still found ways to help her sister at a nearby farm. She never saw her parents and some of her siblings again. Coming to the United States after the war, she raised 6 kids in a blended family with a firm, steady and loving hand.
As an empty nester Maria enjoyed staying up very late at night with Pops, her sister Sophia and her Polish friends. They enjoyed television, conversation and laughter. She was always the last to go to bed.
With her kids and grandkids she was quite good at changing her personality to fit the occasion, but she loved them and they loved her. The family enjoyed her Polish cooking. The team of Pops on the grill and Maria in the kitchen dished up food, comfort and memories for all who enjoyed her hospitality. A favorite meal was pierogis meticulously made from scratch. Maria will be missed, but her spirit lives on. The family is grateful for the loving care provided by the staff at CareOne Wall, for the past 3 years.
Maria was predeceased by her husband Ralph Kukla; ex-husband, Melzar Rivenburg; parents, Maria and Andre Romanyszyn; sisters, Anna Remer and Sophia Kaj; and brothers, Ivan, Roman and Slawek Romanyszyn. Maria is survived by her 6 children, John Rivenburg (wife Carmen), Toms River, NJ; Mike Kukla (wife Rosario), Maple Glen, PA; Kathi Spurlock, Millstone Township, NJ; Steve Rivenburg (wife Rosina), Ocean, NJ, Ken Kukla (wife Pat), Atlanta, GA and Carol Kukla Mutz (husband Frank), Atlanta, GA. She leaves a legacy in her grandchildren Ken, Stuart, Kristie, Nathan, Jason, Jonathan, Michelle, Valerie, Thomas, Matthew and Jeffrey, as well as 18 great-grandchildren.
All services are private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donation may be made to Alzheimer’s New Jersey, 425 Eagle Rock Avenue, Suite 203, Roseland, NJ 07068. The family invites you to leave a letter of condolence by selecting the Tribute/Guestbook link above.
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Alzheimer's New Jersey
425 Eagle Rock Avenue, Suite 203, Roseland NJ 07068