Carl T. Kruljac, age 87, of Fort Walton Beach, FL, took his final breath on Oct. 30. He was born on December 11, 1933, in Pittsburg, IL, which is when he began to breathe life and laughter into the lives of all those with whom he came into contact. He is preceded in death by his parents, Vinko (Vance) Kruljac and Antonia Kruljac, and his older siblings Frankie, Mary, and Emma. He was a proud 27-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and it was during one of his military assignments in Greece that he met his devoted wife of 65 years, Katy Kruljac.
Carl was smart, quick-witted, and a master storyteller, who often punctuated many of his funny tales with his loud signature “he-he-he-he” laugh. He loved a good joke and couldn’t resist a playful prank just to remind you that life was best lived with laughter. In fact, he would chuckle now to read that the fish population along the Gulf Coast is breathing a collective sigh of relief to learn of his passing. They stood little chance against his elite angler skills.
He was a loving and loyal father and grandfather. He spent many hours with his children and grandchildren keeping them company, teaching them an athletic skill, and above all making them laugh. Blessed with an infectious personality and boundless generosity of spirit, he was as warmly embraced by the friends of his children as he was by his own adoring friends and family.
In addition to his wife Katy, Carl is survived by three children, Toni Kruljac-Smith, Mike Kruljac, and Teddy Kruljac; grandchildren Elena Huckabee, Sydney Kruljac, Alex Kruljac, and Vance Kruljac; son-in-law Bill Smith and daughter-in-law Jill Polisner; and niece and caregiver Penny Fredenburg Soulanis.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, Nov. 8, from noon-12:40 p.m. at McLaughlin Mortuary, 17 S.E. Chestnut Ave., Fort Walton Beach, FL. The family will receive visitors a half-hour prior to the service. A burial ceremony will take place on the same day following the service. It will begin at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the C.A.S.T. for Kids fishing charity at https://castforkids.networkforgood.com/projects/56352-c-a-s-t-for-kids-donations. Expressions of love and sympathy may be placed and viewed at www.mclaughlinmortuary.com
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C.A.S.T. for kids
Destin FL 32540