Nicholas A. Pulera - (2024)

Nicholas passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, at the age of 84 with his wife by his side.

Preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Jerry and Sam Pulera, beloved brothers-in-law, Harold Burke, Larry Shilts, Tom Brown, and David Wertz, and lifelong friend Pat O’Hanlon, and friend Tom Hacker.

Nick was born in Kenosha, WI on April 9, 1940. Son of Frank and Josephine (Perri) Pulera. He was the first born of five siblings, which included Samuel Pulera, Jerry Pulera, Sharon (Pulera) Shilts, and Randy Pulera.

Losing his mother early on in life, he and his siblings were raised by their loving grandmother and aunts and uncles. The love and values he grew up with were instilled and implemented into his own life, and Nick remained very close with his family, siblings and relations.

After graduating high school in Kenosha, Nick enlisted in the U.S. Army from 1957-1960. He attended jump school and paratrooper training at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC. It was there that he learned to parachute out of planes with the 82nd Airborne Division, 325th Parachute Infantry Regiment – something that would stay dear to him his entire life. Upon completion of jump school, his company was stationed in post-World War II Germany in the cities of Regensburg, and Landshut near the Czech border. While there, he worked as a Military Police Officer, under the 508th Battalion (Company B) and rode a BMW motorcycle. It was then that he met and made a lifelong friend Henry “Hank” Callahan who served beside him in the same company.

Once he completed his service he returned to America and sought the hand of Susan Brown. Following a few less than successful attempts, he finally convinced her to marry him. One of his favorite stories to recall was how he married the girl down the street he had known since she was nine years old. Nick Pulera and Susan (Brown) Pulera married on August 25, 1962.

Nick and Sue had three children, Steven Sr, Brian, and Jerry. Along with two grandchildren, Stevie and Scott. Nick was known by so many names; Nicholas, Nick, husband, and dad, but most affectionately by Papa.

Every day Nick exemplified dedication and hard work. He approached his career the same way and gave 30 years to OMC in Waukegan, IL. He was employed as a packaging engineer and skilled draftsman. Trained traditionally, before computers and CAD, Nick learned to draft with t squares, vellum and grid paper, and various lead pencils. Always sociable he remained extremely close with friends Debbie Bonnes and Jessie Schmidt even after his retirement.

Retirement for Nick didn’t mean slowing down. He still worked selflessly on many projects and gave back to his community. Initially he organized dances and sock hops- partnering with the Jerry Lewis Foundation, raising money for Muscular Dystrophy and Spina Bifida. He spent a great deal of his time and energy on his many charities and causes. In his later years he placed those efforts into decades of car shows raising money for the wounded soldiers. Nick was responsible for creating the Southern Wisconsin All Airborne Chapter; giving to veterans and their families to help with the challenges that came with amputations, prosthetic limbs, therapies and adjusting to an altered life back in society.

His life wasn’t all work though. He enjoyed deer hunting, smithing and shooting guns, wrenching on classic cars, putting together model planes and ships, and of course his family. Spending time with his wife, sons and grandsons came easy to Nick. He made others a priority and found joy in the little things.

He loved interacting with animals, viewing Christmas decorations, classic cars and World War I and II airplanes. His favorite things to watch were the Packers, Back to the Future, Hallmark’s 25 Days of Christmas, and old Mash re-runs. Most of all he loved his family and was most proud of his 61 years of marriage to his better half, Susan.

Graveside services will be private in Green Ridge Cemetery. A celebration of life for friends and family will be held at Casa Capri, 2129 Birch Rd., Kenosha, WI from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Friday, June 28, 2024. Arrangements were entrusted to Proko Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to the family or the Southern Wisconsin All Airborne Chapter.

Nicholas A. Pulera - (2024)
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