Emil James Kutka, 94, of Topeka, died February 22, 2018 at Brewster Health Center in Topeka. He was born in Brainard, Nebraska on June 11, 1923, the son of James and Caroline Kutka.
Emil graduated from Brainard High School. He enlisted in the US Coast Guard in 1942, and was assigned to the weather ship, USCG Monomoy, for the duration of WWII. Following WWII, he enlisted in the Merchant Marine, then worked on Sun Oil CO tankers. He learned the trade of neon tube bending at Neon Industrial Training Institute in Steubenville, Ohio. Emil worked in Topeka as a neon tube bender for 33 years.
He was a member of St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, the Nocturnal Adoration Society, Knights of Columbus Council #534, James W. Gibbons Assembly of Fourth Degree, and IBEW Electrical Union #226. He was a life member of Philip Billard VFW Post 1650, and the American Legion Post 275 of Brainard, NE. He enjoyed listening to polka music and spending time with his cat, KC. His positive and gentle spirit touched everyone who knew him.
Emil is survived by his daughter Lori (Brian) Porter; his grandchildren, Clare Catherine, Ryan, and Michael; his sister Betty (Bill) Neimeyer, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Catherine, his infant son, Joseph John, and his siblings Rose, Adeline, and Herman.
Emil will lie in state at the Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home on Friday 23 March from 2:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. A rosary will be prayed at 5:00 pm, followed by a Knights of Columbus Chalice Ceremony.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10:00 am, Saturday, March 24th at St. Matthew Catholic Church. Interment with military honors will follow in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Cat Association of Topeka (C.A.T.) and sent in care of Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home, 800 SW 6th Ave., Topeka, Kansas 66603. Online condolences and fond memories may be left at www.brennanmathenafh.com.