Nicholas Bulka was born in his parents' home in Bayonne, NJ on January 21, 1920 to Nicholas and Anna Bulka. He was the 11th of 12 children. 4 were born and grew up in Ukraine, and Nick never met or spoke to them.
Anna died two years later, leaving her husband with 8 kids, two of them still babies. Nick was raised mostly by his elder siblings. His family nickname was "Mickey" and some of the extended family still called him that until he died.
As a young man, Nick joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and spent his time in Idaho building trails. He played semi-pro football in the 40's on a team called the Tuscans.
The number one sport on Nick's list was bowling. He bowled his entire life, into his 90's. He bowled many years in the Bayonne Father and Son Tournament with his son Nicky. They even won 4th place one year.
Nick was famous for his jokes. He loved telling jokes, and didn't mind much if he had told you the same one before. Most of the time they were pretty corny, but he got a good one in every once in a while.
He was dedicated to his family. He was a member of the Holy Family Academy Fathers Guild, who essentially were the maintenance crew for the high school, and volunteered their time and tools for free. He served as an assistant scoutmaster for Nicky's troop and went on their weekend campouts.
Religion was a big part of Nick's life. He was raised Ukrainian Catholic, but when he got married he changed to Roman Catholic. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus.
For work, Nick delivered liquor for F&A Distributing Company for more than 3 decades. He was a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Nick and Mary have 6 children. They were married 9 years before the first, Nick Jr, came along. Two more (Susan and Tom) followed within 4 years. It looked like that was going to be it, but 6 years later Robert was born. And then Danny and Steven within the following 4 years.
Although born and raised in Bayonne, the time came to leave. Tom and his wife Laurie asked Nick and Mary to come and live with them. So they left Bayonne for Columbia Maryland.
Nick suffered from skin cancer in the late years of his life, and he lost parts of his nose and ears to the scalpel. But he didn't let it stop him. He had a tremendous amount of heart.
He left an impression with everyone he came in contact with. He was a hard guy to forget. The world is a slightly sadder place with him not in it. He is missed.