MARQUETTE, MI. The Reverend D.C. "Kal" Kalweit, age 86, of Marquette, entered eternal life Sunday morning, September 2, 2012, at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans, where he had resided since September 2008.
Born June 16, 1926 in Cleveland, Ohio, a son of August and Aleene (Peterson) Kalweit, Kal was raised in Cleveland until age 13 when the family moved to Seattle, Washington. It was in Seattle that Kal finished his high school education and enlisted in the US Navy. He served during World War II, in the Pacific Theatre of Operations aboard the USS Douglas H. Fox, narrowly escaping death when the ship was hit by a kamikaze plane whose bomb failed to explode. Following the war, Kal returned to Seattle, attending Seattle University, majoring in history and political science. Although qualified to teach, he changed his plans. Aiming for the ministry, he obtained the degree of Master of Divinity from Augustana Theological Seminary in Rock Island, Illinois. It was in Illinois that Kal met Nancy Nylen, whom he married on October 24, 1953 at the Augustana Seminary Chapel in Rock Island, Illilnois. He was ordained in California in 1954. Kal's first pastorate was in Rockford, Illinois, where the couple lived for more than three years, then at Messiah Lutheran Church, Racine, Wisconsin. In 1965, he received a call to become the pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church, Marquette, a position that he would occupy for more than two decades. From the beginning, Kal was popular with the parishioners. They expected him to get involved in the community-and he did. In 1968, he was instrumental in opening the church building to Head Start, and even today, he is still associated with that project. He was concerned with adult education, worked with a group focusing on marriage enrichment, and was a prime mover in saving the Janzen House from demolition. He was instrumental in establishing a group home for developmentally disabled adults which became Propylon and served two terms on its board, served on the committee for the Peter White Public Library expansion, worked with Alcoholics Anonymous as a volunteer for its 5th Step Program, promoted the establishment of Beacon House, organized the chaplaincy program at Marquette General Hospital, and served as a guest lecturer in New Testament History at Carthage College in Kenosha. Above all, Kal was a staunch advocate for the disenfranchised and accepting to all people. Additionally, he was a member of Kiwanis, and he and Nancy were members of the Cotillion Dance Club for many years. Retiring from the active ministry in 1988, his retirement years were anything but inactive. As a person filled with purpose and desire to serve, Kal's "retirement" would open new doors. He served as a consultant for UP Home Nursing and assisted his bishop as a supply pastor for parishes where pastorates were vacant or clergy on vacation. These latter commitments often stretched into month long endeavors, involving much travel. Kal never was good at saying "no" and remained the consummate clergyman. He also founded a school to train lay leaders for congregations who could not afford full time clergy. With retirement, Kal and family could now spend more time at the family camp, Stuga, purchased in 1975 on the shores of Lake Superior, a home away from home and haven of relaxation and fun. Also, now there was more time for travel and he and Nancy enjoyed several years of travel all over the country with wonderful trips to Hawaii, Caribbean cruises, visits to London, Paris, Scotland, Ireland, and Sweden, to name a few. The highlight of travel was always visits with their children and grandchildren and enjoying family. A voracious reader, Kal especially enjoyed the topics of Abraham Lincoln and Native Americans, and when not reading, usually had one or more other projects he was working on. And, up until he entered the Jacobetti Home, he made daily walks of between 11 and 16 miles, often using the time for quiet meditation and reflection. Through the years of struggle, challenge, success, and love of life, Kal always kept his sense of humor and commitment to ministry.
A loving husband, father, and grandfather, Kal is survived by his wife of 58 years, Nancy; daughters, Karin (Dean) Haxton of Belle Fourche, SD, Linda (Paul Steklenski) Kalweit of Duluth, MN, and Lisa (Eric) VanAlstine of Algoma, WI; grandchildren, Justina (Andy) Goldhahn, Britt Haxton, Lars and Annika VanAlstine; great-grandchildren, Ethan and Jackson Goldhahn.
Rev. D.C. ‘Kal’ Kalweit
In addition to his parents, Kal was preceded in death by his sister and brother-in-law, Betty and Laurel Good.
The family will receive friends at the Messiah Lutheran Church on Wednesday, September 5, from 11:30 am until the time of service at 1:00 pm. Rev. David Van Kley and Rev. Amanda Kossow, pastors at Messiah, will officiate. Rev. Thomas Skrenes, Bishop of the Northern Great Lakes Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will offer opening remarks and Rev. Dale Skogman, Bishop Emeritus will give the homily.
Pallbearers will be Rev. Rudolph Kemppainen, Lou Myefski, Dr. Milton Soderberg, Ted Koehler, Dr. Carl Hammerstrom, Bill Weaver, and Peter Kotila. A reception will follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to Messiah Lutheran Church, 305 W. Magnetic Street, Marquette, MI 49855 or Resident Activity Fund, Jacobetti Home for Veterans, 425 Fisher Street, Marquette, MI 49855.
The family would like to express their deep appreciation to the staff and residents of the Jacobetti Home for their compassionate, loving care of Kal and the many kindnesses extended to his family. Your thoughtfulness will never be forgotten.
The Swanson-Lund quist Funeral Home is serving the family; where condolences may be expressed online at www.swansonlundquistfuneral