Witalij "Walt" Karakulko
March 20, 1935 – March 2, 2018
Witalij "Walt" Karakulko, aged 82 of El Lago, Texas passed away March 2, 2018 peacefully at home. He was born in Minsk, Belarus on March 20, 1935 to Vladimir and Maria Karakulko. An immigrant, Witalij came to the United States in 1951 after spending six years in a refugee camp in Germany after World War II and settled in South River, New Jersey. He attended South River High School and then Rutgers University where he received a BS Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Immediately after graduating from college he went to work in Langley, Virginia for a new organization: NASA. He spent over 45 years working in the aerospace industry, most of which were spent with NASA in the propulsion division. NASA brought him to Houston in 1963 where he also received a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Houston. He worked on every space flight program from Mercury to Space Shuttle and was instrumental in the design of propulsion systems. His work with reaction control propulsion systems literally helped land man on the moon. He had a love for soccer, played collegiately for Rutgers and brought his passion to Houston where he helped form the Bay Area Soccer league in 1970. He was a parishioner of St Vladimir Orthodox Church where he used his creative capabilities to design and build four stained glass windows for the sanctuary. He also exhibited true artistry with his design and dying of Ukrainian Easter eggs.
Witalij, a loving husband, father and grandfather was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 31 years, Natalie. He is survived by his son Nick Karakulko and wife Julie Yznaga, daughter Nina Konstans and husband Mike Engels, and four grandchildren: Andrew Konstans, Katherine Karakulko, Christopher Konstans, and Natalie Konstans.
Family will receive guests Friday, March 9 from 5:00-7:00pm at Forest Park East Funeral Home located at 21620 Gulf Freeway Webster, Texas. A Funeral Service will be held Saturday, March 10 at 10:00am in the Chapel of Forest Park East Funeral Home. Immediately following Witalij will be laid to rest at Forest Park East Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to: Restore Historic Mission Control https://spacecenter.org/support/restore-mission-control/ At checkout in the notes section, please add "In memory of Witalij Karakulko"
- Restore Historic Mission Control
- Visitation Friday, March 9, 2018
- Funeral Service Saturday, March 10, 2018
- Committal Service Saturday, March 10, 2018
Witalij "Walt" Karakulko
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Nancy Steel Liounis
March 9, 2018
I'm so sorry for your loss. I have fond memories of working with Walt early in my career, he was such a gentleman. He included my husband & I in an outing with his propulsion friends to a performance by the Houston Balalaika Society, and I'll never forget his gracious hosting and his zest for life & fun.
March 9, 2018
Nina and Nicky, I am so sorry for your loss. I can barely remember a time in my life when I didn’t know your father...he was incredibly joyful, creative, and funny. And a great cook! He was definitely larger than life. It’s so painful to lose him but wonderful to have known him. Much love to you both.
March 8, 2018
My deepest sympathy for your loss. Walt was a true professional and I enjoyed working with him on the Apollo Soyuz Test Project.
March 6, 2018
Our thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time. I have such fond memories of Coach K and all the time we spent on the field. He was a great coach and his love for the game made playing for him the best. I know there are players all over Clear Lake that will miss him greatly.
Michael Olmedo #9