Robert William Kujath born January 26, 1940 in Fairbury, Nebraska, to Herbert and Tillie Meyer Kujath. He was raised on the family farm and his love for farming and animals lasted his whole life.
Bob was a multi-sport athlete and graduated from Beatrice High School in Beatrice, NE in 1957. His senior year, he was honored in 1957 Encyclopedia Britannica as the American Legion MVP (high school baseball player of the year). Although drafted by the Cincinnati Redlegs straight out of high school, he chose instead to attend Life Bible College in Los Angeles, CA. While there he played football, basketball and baseball for the college and that is where he met his future bride, Eleanor Bigg. In 1959 they married for life. In 1961 Bob graduated from LIFE College in Los Angeles with a BA Degree, gave birth to firstborn daughter in Hollywood, CA before moving to Trinidad, CO to begin his first pastorate. While living in Trinidad, they gave birth to two additional daughters. In 1964 he moved to Durango, CO to pastor the Durango Foursquare Church (New Life Chapel now known as the River Church). In 1965 and 1966, Bob and Eleanor had two sons. Bob led building of a new church in 1968, new parsonage in 1972, started New Life Christian School in 1978, built a new multipurpose church building (gym/school/sanctuary) in 1982. To invest more in his community, he became involved in Kiwanis service organization where he served as President and then Lieutenant Governor for Kiwanis International for Division 5 and the new Narrow Gauge club was built. He was involved in training and promotional speaking for Kiwanis' groups. Bob and family lived in Durango until 1982 when they moved to Albuquerque, NM to manage Howden's Office Supply and then operated an advertising consulting business until 1987 when they moved to Phoenix, AZ to work for America West Airlines as manager of Cargo Sales. When Bob took an early "retirement" in August of 1996, he moved back to the Durango area. In October of 1996, Bob and Eleanor pioneered Pine Valley Foursquare Church in an old bank building. In February 1999, they dedicated a multipurpose building in Bayfield, CO. He retired in October 2001, an active part of the church until he went home to be with Jesus.
His dream retirement came true when he built his farm and bred and raised the horses he loved (and cows, goats, chickens, dogs, cats, etc). He also umpired softball, baseball and ref'd for volleyball and football as well as caring for his "ranch" and animals. This was a time to enjoy spending time with and cheering on his 14 grandchildren. During this time, he served as public relations man in the press-box for Broncos games and worked security at the National Stock Shows in Denver. Nevertheless, his first love was building relationships with people and introducing them to the love of Jesus. Bob often told people that in the word "Preach" only one letter (the P) is what you do behind the pulpit; the rest of the word is who you are and what you do to "reach" people. Through the years, his athletic skills and competitive nature built many championship softball teams. Bob loved to laugh and make others laugh too. He loved people and the community he lived in. Even after being confined to a wheelchair by a stroke in 2014, he continued to build caring relationships with people, impacting their lives. He was husband, dad, grandpa, great-grandpa, pastor, friend, advisor to so many different people and he encouraged their strength and developed their character with never-failing love, faith, and trust in the Lord.
He is survived by his wife of more than 60 years Eleanor Kujath, his brother Richard Kujath (Joyce Lay Kujath), his five children Janelle Kujath Ellis (Timothy Ellis), Kathy Kujath Sather (Larry Sather, Jr.), Becky Kujath Stadolnik (Dave Stadolnik), Scott William Kujath (Carrie Pippen Kujath), and Rob Kujath (Michelle Baillio Kujath), 14 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, and a church family that loved him. Bob leaves behind a heritage of blessing and a legacy of faith.
Private graveside is scheduled for immediate family only and a celebration of life service for all will be scheduled in July/August when state restrictions allow. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Pine Valley Church designated for the Bob Kujath Memorial Fund. The use of funds will be toward the Pine Valley Heritage Event Center.