Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Rudolph Charles Kalcich

PHOENIX, Ariz. - On Sept. 13, 2020, at the incredible age of 92, Rudolph "Rudy" Charles Kalcich said goodbye to his loving family and departed from this world.

Born April 7, 1928, in the tiny Michigan Upper Peninsula town of Ironwood that was his home and his first love, Rudy spent most of his life in and around the metro Phoenix area where he and his wife of 57 years, Diane, raised their three children, Barbara, Suzanne and Chuck. Though he moved away from his beloved Ironwood, Rudy would continue to share his passion for his hometown with his children, grandchildren and extended family, making as many trips back to the old stomping grounds as possible.

A life-long educator both in and out of the classroom for 30 years, Rudy taught sixth grade at P.T. Coe Elementary School in the Isaac School District in Phoenix, where he also acted as the director for a number of after-school athletic programs, basketball and baseball being his main focus. As a teacher, the impact Rudy had on the lives of his students was profound, so much so that he remained in contact with a number of former students throughout his life. This passion for and dedication to education extended well beyond his career as a teacher: Rudy was the family genealogist, an incredible historian, an avid devotee to political science, a major horologist, and the best bedtime story reader to his five adoring grandchildren.

A proud Croatian-American, Rudy loved to share his heritage and was even able to visit his ancestral home several times in his life where he saw the house in which his father was raised and even street signs bearing his family name. Rudy brought these experiences back to his family and friends, even sharing accounts of his family history with the local newspaper back in Ironwood.

By far one of his favorite areas of study, Rudy devoted a great deal of his life to the study of calendars. Often seen simply as humble date keepers, Rudy believed in the beauty of a calendar's ability not only to measure the past but provide surety to the present. On meeting Rudy the first time, one could almost certainly bet that, after learning the year and date of your birth, he could tell you what day of the year you were born on and when that specific calendar could be used again. With the help of several long-time friends, Rudy even created three detailed field guides of sorts that not only educated the reader on the history of calendars but how and when certain calendars would repeat.

Rudy's passing was sudden and unpredictable and he will be missed dearly by his loving family. Rudy is survived by his wife, Diane; his children, Barbara and John, Suzanne and Will, and Chuck and Yvonne; and his grandchildren, Benton and Jamis, Nolan, Isabelle, Ryan and Malia.

Memorial services for Rudy took place on Sept. 29 at San Juan Diego Catholic Church in Chandler, Arizona. The family would like to extend our gratitude to Hospice of the Valley for their excellent dedication to care; please direct any donations to in lieu of flowers.

Raise your glass of Slivovitz and join us in saying "zivjeli!" to celebrate Rudy's life; one lived joyfully and in faith!

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