The last ‘I love you’

About eight years ago, Ron Walters fell fast and hard for a woman from King Cove.

They spent their first date at a Big Lake crawfish boil, and they promised their lives to each other at a 24-hour chapel in Las Vegas. 

Claudia Kuzakin on her honeymoon

 Walters fell for her radiant smile and her magnetic personality. Claudia Kuzakin was outgoing, playful and sweet. He adored her creative spirit. She papered her walls with Michael Jordan posters, once played basketball for the hometown team and enjoyed watching tennis. She loved styling hair and music by Jack Johnson and John Mayer, especially “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room.” She had three children, siblings and extended family. She was full of life, but the alcohol addiction she fought was taking a steep toll.

Walters thought of his vows, “In sickness and health,” and stood by her side for years. Eventually, her addiction drove them to opposite ends of the United States – him in Texas, her in Anchorage – but they never fell out of touch and Walters never gave up. When they last spoke about a week ago, she seemed happy and hopeful, he said. She talked about a long-term treatment program somewhere in Washington. She talked about finally coming home to him in Texas. Before they hung up, he told her he loved her.

“I love you more,” she said.

That was the last time he heard her voice.

In the early morning hours of July 31, Claudia Kuzakin was killed by an apparent hit-and-run on a dark stretch of Mountain View Drive. The Anchorage Police Department asked for public help finding the vehicle involved; an older-model, light-colored, full-size SUV spotted by a surveillance camera in the area. Kuzakin’s family made plans to lay her to rest back in King Cove. 

Thousands of miles away, the man who loved her wondered how he could live without her. 

Categories: Blog

2 replies »

  1. Very sad. Thank you for putting a face on this tragedy. Other local media treats this story as a statistic when there really is a story involved.

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