Eugene Nicholas Kovalenko, PhD, son of Nicholas and Ruth Kovalenko, died on April 16, 2022, after an extensive period of physical health challenges. Raised as Eugene “Kregg” in Phoenix, AZ, he joined the Army and was trained as a Russian interpreter during the Korean conflict, initially assigned to work in the top-secret Berlin Tunnel. Eugene’s education culminated with a Ph.D. in Ceramic Engineering after which he was recruited by General Atomic. Other professional highlights include working for Brunswick Defense, Los Alamos National Labs, and lifelong personal projects aimed at improving US-Soviet relations prior to the fall of the USSR.
Although educated and employed as a scientist, Eugene was best known for his extraordinary singing voice. Starting out as a soloist in the Army Language School, he went on to perform for numerous audiences around the world, always willing to sing for anyone who asked. An ardent seeker of truth, Eugene remained committed to his primary values of authenticity and transparency throughout his life, declaring these as “not always popular or safe.” He loved to write poetry and would generously share his diverse life experiences with friends, family, and all who would listen. He recently authored a book encompassing a subject close to his heart over many decades and was his own creation and process. The book, entitled “Portal to Meaning: A Process for Unlocking Dreams” was brought to fruition with the help and encouragement of his co-author.
Eugene worshipped as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and most recently at the Los Alamos Russian Orthodox and Bethlehem Lutheran churches.
He married and divorced a few times and is survived by his devoted and loving wife Birgitta of almost 30 years, and 54 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He had many, many friends who will miss his bright spirit greatly.
A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday April 30, 2022, at 11:00., at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 2390 N Rd, Los Alamos, NM 87544. For more details, please refer to this website: https://www.devargasfuneral.com/
In lieu of flowers, etc., please consider donating to a charity helping Ukrainian refugees.
Published by the Los Alamos Daily Post
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