Arnold (Arnie) Kustka, age 77 of Kewaunee died on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at Bellin Memorial Hospital. He was born in Kewaunee on January 17, 1936 to the late Joseph and Elizabeth (Fictum) Kustka.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1955-1957, stationed in Germany. On September 3, 1960, he married Shirley Luedtke. His work at the Frank Hamachek Machine Co. took him to many states, servicing machinery.
Arnie was a talented man who touched many lives. One of his loves was polka music, and he shared that with others having his own polka band in his younger years. Many listened to him share his music as a chambermaid in Trout Fest parades. His skills as a craftsman were illustrated in his designing and building as the owner of Sharlton Builders. Always helping his own children with their projects in 4-H, Arnie also got involved with the NEW Livestock show. As a woodworking leader, he helped teach wood crafts to the youth. Even when his years as Sharlton Builders came to an end, he continued to work, sharing his talents at Burger Boat in Manitowoc and then at H.J. Martin in Green Bay. Arnie never really retired because he continued to repair garage doors and make crafts, attending the area craft shows with Shirley. In the last few years, his love for his purple martins occupied his days from April to August.
His long journey started in 2008 when he became a paraplegic. He accepted this new challenge, kept a positive attitude, and shared jokes with whomever he visited, never losing his sense of humor.
Survivors include his wife Shirley of fifty-three years; two daughters and sons-in-law, Nancy (Mike) LaCrosse, Kewaunee and Jill (Tony) Gilson, Luxemburg; two sons and daughters-in-law, John (Sheri) Kustka, Janesville, and Jim (Kari) Kustka, Kewaunee; eleven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Arnie is further survived by three sisters- and brothers-in-law: Diane (John) Ihlenfeldt, Karen (Floyd) Schoening, and Kathy (Pat) Benes, all of Algoma. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by three sisters and brothers-in-law: Dorothy (Joseph) Prickett, Frances (Louis) Malczewski, and Marion (Ronald) Stello; his father- and mother-in-law Orville and Renata Luedtke.
Friends may call after 4:00 p.m. Friday, October 25 at Buchanan Funeral Home, Kewaunee. A parish wake service will be held at 7:00 p.m. Visitation continues on Saturday at the funeral home until 10:30 a.m. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at Holy Rosary Church, Kewaunee at 11:00 a.m. by Fr. William Swichtenberg followed by full military rites. Burial will be in Forest View Cemetery in the Town of Carlton.
In Lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established.