OBITUARY

Andrew Alexander Kouklis

August 31, 1925April 12, 2018
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Andrew Alexander Kouklis was born on August 31, 1925 and passed away on April 12, 2018

Services

  • Memorial Service Thursday, April 26, 2018
REMEMBERING

Andrew Alexander Kouklis

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Biography

Andy was born in San Fernando, CA on August 31, 1925, to George and Beatrice Kouklis, and welcomed by older brother George Jr. After 92 years, passed away on April 12, 2018, at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles while awaiting surgery. He grew up in Delano and became a big brother to Angelo, Manuel, and Katherine. In 1943 while a junior at Delano High School he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Assigned to the 10th Regiment (Artillery) 2nd Marine Division as an instructor in small weapons, he saw action on Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian, and was waiting to go ashore at Iwo Jima when learned that the island had been secured. From here the Division was sent to Okinawa then to Nagasaki, Japan in September 1945. Arriving back home in Delano on Christmas Eve 1945, and on Christmas Day, he first met Betty Gage. The two were married on September 2, 1948, at the Wee Kirk of the Heather in Las Vegas. They then moved to Los Angeles where Andy began classes at Woodbury Business College, graduating in 1950. Coming back to Delano and because of his fascination with trucks at an early age, he eventually started Kouklis Custom Harvesting. In 1950, a son, Andy Jr., was born, and in 1953, a daughter was added to the family, Angela Kristine. In 1973 Andy and Betty, with Betty’s sister, partnered in Delano Travel Service, which opened many opportunities to travel. One of the highlights for Andy was an African safari and the first cruse in 1973, followed by several, some of which, included the entire family. They enjoyed several trips to Hawaii, Europe including the Netherlands, Israel, Italy, Spain, and Greece where they visited Andy’s relatives. After selling the Travel Service, a motor coach was purchased and that became the main source of traveling. They’ve toured all but three states, Canada, and spent several winters in Baja California and the mainland part of Mexico, meeting some lasting friends. They thoroughly enjoyed cruises having been on the Rhine River, Greek Islands, Alaska, the Caribbean, Mexico, Asia, and the South Pacific. He was a Life Member of the Delano Elks Lodge No. 1761. In 2015 he was honored to be Grand Marshal of the Delano Harvest Holidays. In 1985 an additional business was begun, Empire Ag Transport, Inc. which continues to expand. In December 2017, they moved to the Village at Seven Oaks in Bakersfield where Betty plans to continue living. Preceding in death were Andy’s parents, his brothers George and Angelo and sister Katherine. Surviving are his wife, Betty, son Andy Jr. (Kathy), daughter Kris (Martin Dispoto), granddaughter Aubri, grandsons Drew Kouklis (Lexie), David Swift Jr., Christopher, and Jordan Brown (Kathleen), and seven great-grandchildren, his brother Manuel, and many nieces and nephews who dearly loved their Uncle Andy.