48, ended a hard-fought battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) on October 31, 2009. What started as a twitch in his arm, eventually took away his booming voice and his ability to walk, but never robbed him of his wonderful smile. To Alan’s friends and co-workers, he was an intelligent and caring colleague, wise beyond his years and a mentor and advisor. To his family he was a loving husband, father, uncle, brother and son. To the very end Alan was nothing if not courageous. His disease took many things from him, but he didn’t complain or dwell on his loss – he took hold of all that life had to give and was thankful for the blessings brought by each new day. An Arizona native, Alan was born the youngest of four children on August 31, 1961 at St. Joseph Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. Raised in the Roman Catholic faith, Alan was an active member of both the St. Gregory and Saint Simon and Jude Parish here in Phoenix. Alan divided his time between being a dedicated employee, loyal friend, and devoted father. He enjoyed camping and beach trips with his closest friends as well as involvement in every aspect of his children’s lives.
Alan survived by his children Melissa and Jacob (Phoenix, AZ) and his wife of 22 years, Michelle (Phoenix, AZ), as well as his father, Eugene L. Kucharski and mother, Helen Kucharski (Sun City, AZ); brothers , Gene Kucharski (Phoenix, AZ), Tim Kucharski (Gilbert, AZ) and sister, Donna Kucharski (Seekonk, MA). Alan, as your angels here on earth, we are blessed to have you looking over us as our own special guardian angel. You may be gone, but you will continue to live in the hearts of so many. A Memorial Mass will be held at 5:00 pm, Friday, November 6, 2009 at Brophy Chapel, 4701 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix. Donations may be made in memory of Alan to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St. Phoenix, AZ 85014 or ALS Association Arizona Chapter, 4643 E Thomas Rd. Ste. 1, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Alan and I were pretty close for a couple of years in grade school. I remember he was simply a good person at the core and everyone understood that.
In pee-wee football practice, our coach LaPert (or thereabouts) had the great idea of taking 2 kids about 20 yards apart and running them at each other to collide in the middle – something Frank Kush probably inspired. But LaPert failed to factor in that 5th & 6th grade pee wee league’rs didn’t wear helmets.
So he selects one or two pair of normal kids who were probably staring off in the distance or picking their ears and he has them run into each other and it was boring. Then he gets this grin on his face and says “Hodges and Kucharski” – knowing we’d go at it full on because we wanted to be tough football players and that’s what tough football players did.
Anyway, of run at full speed and connected squarely on our foreheads with what must have sounded like an excellent break in a game of billiards. Both of us ended up flat on our backs with a golf-ball sized lumps growing on our heads. After a minute or two we got up and shook it off. I think practice was over after that but wouldn’t be surprised if we still ran laps after that.
Funny what memories stay with you My sincere condolences to everyone who loved him.
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I knew Alan in grade school at St Greg’ory’s. He was a good friend that I’m sorry to say I had lost touch with. I’m sure that he had grown to be a fine man, husband and father. His passing is a great loss and I’m sure that he will be missed by many.