REMEMBERING MY GRANDFATHER
My paternal Grandfather, Dr. Kusztos Denes was born 111 years ago today, on April 28, 1902 in a small village, called Kibed, in Erdely, Magyarorszag (Transylvania, Hungary), part of Romania since 1921. He was the last, the 32nd child of his family and grew up in an orphanage. He graduated as a teacher and protestant minister in Nagyenyed. He studied law and theology at the University of Kolozsvar (Cluj-Napoca). He worked as a teacher and protestant priest in various small villages in Erdely and founded a school, a rectory and a community center for the Hungarian minority in an area that became overpopulated by Romanians. He was a talented musician, well known conductor and played the organ, piano and violin.
He moved with his wife, Eszter and two children, Denes and Judit to Hungary in 1941, before Erdely again became part of Romania after WW II. He taught languages in various schools in Debrecen and then Budapest until his retirement. He spoke several languages, including Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, Polish, German, Esperanto and English. He died at the age of 82 after a long and prosperous life serving his country in a tragic historic period of Hungary.
I made the above Conte crayon drawing of him about ten years ago from memory and based on some photographs. On this drawing he was about 80 years old, still vigorous, full of life and energy. We were very close and I cherish a lot of memories about him. My Grandfather lives in my heart…