Otto Constantine Kulleck was born in 1898 in Chicago to Richard and Anna.1 His parents were immigrants from Germany, and together they had at least 12 children. Otto’s older siblings were Adam, Richard Jr., Clara, and Leo. His younger siblings were Katie, Agnes, Margaret, Lawrence, Francis, Gerhardt, and Alfonse.2 According to Census data from the year 1900, Kulleck’s parents immigrated to the United States in the 1880’s and their first child was born in 1890.3 His father was a clerk for a dry goods store in Chicago, Illinois.
When Kulleck was 18, he enlisted in the United States Army in April of 1917 during World War I.4 He eventually deployed to France. He was severely wounded in 1918 during his deployment, but he luckily recovered.5 One interesting historical document shows him returning to the United States from St. Nazaire, France, in 1919 on the USS Manchuria ship.6 During his service in the War, he was in Battery B of the 122nd Field Artillery Regiment of the 33rd US Army Division.
After the war, he married Lauretta Catherine Reuter on June 21, 1924, and moved to Des Moines, Iowa.7 Together, they had one child named Donald, who became a Catholic priest, in 1928.8 Later, Donald eventually moved to the San Diego area in California. According to Kulleck’s WWII draft card, he and his family moved back to Chicago and he worked for the Belding Heminway Company, a silk supplier and manufacturer.9
Kulleck enlisted in the United States Army on March 25, 1942, at the age of 43.10 He served in the 23rd Engineers of the 3rd Armored Division, meaning that he worked with tanks and vehicles during the War.11 He was discharged on the 27th of June in 1945.12
Not much is known about Kulleck after the War, but we can look at his life of service in two World Wars and be constantly inspired and in awe of his courage, bravery, and service to his country. We don’t know what exactly happened in France during World War I caused his injury, but we do know he acted with valor to gain his awards. And knowing that he was 43 years old when he enlisted for World War II emphasized the fact that he deserves his awards. He lived a life of service to his country, and deserves to be remembered for eternity. Sadly Otto Kulleck, died on July 25th, 1957 at the age of 58.13