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Old 02-10-2010, 06:49 PM
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devildog-64012 devildog-64012 is offline
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Exclamation Adolph Kalafut, 85, Kalamazoo, MI (IWO Vet)

I found this Obit for an Iwo Vet over at FromtheHalls dot com.

"Adolph Kalafut led a life saturated with honesty, integrity and respect. Described as generous, funny, loving and a big jokester, he was the kind of man other men looked up to. Never one to let life pass him by, Adolph was always active and full of life; he loved to joke around and bring a smile to someone’s face. For 85 years, Adolph shared his joy of being alive with all who knew and loved him.

As the United States was celebrating a time of temporary peace and prosperity between the two world wars, Andrew and Mary (Budz) Kalafut of Chicago, Illinois had a celebration of their own with the birth of their son, Adolph, on September 3, 1924. He was the second youngest of four children with two older brothers, Henry and Edward, and a younger sister, Lorraine. His parents were both of Polish descent, and owned a tavern in Chicago. Growing up, Adolph was an all-around talented athlete, but had a gift for baseball. In fact, he was the first student at Morgan Park Military Academy to earn his varsity letter in his freshman year. Although not a “typical” sport, he was also known for his uncanny ability to shoot spoons in a glass.

Adolph’s two older brothers had joined the Army after high school, but his heart was set on going into the Marines, which he did in September 1943. After his basic training in San Diego, California, Adolph was stationed for a short time in Hawaii before his regiment, the 5th Marine Division, was called to serve in the South Pacific. Before they knew it, they were on a ship headed for the island of Iwo Jima, which they were to secure so it could be used as an allied military airstrip. Their Division was met with heavy resistance, although the island had been bombed for 3 days prior to their landing. After 6 days on the island, it was truly a proud moment for Adolph when he witnessed the raising of the American flag on Mt. Suribachi. However, on that 6th day, Adolph was hit by shrapnel and shot in the leg. Unable to move, he was dragged to safety by 2 corpsman and eventually delivered to the Navy Hospital ship. With everything happening so fast, Adolph never got to thank those two men, which he found out later didn’t make it home. By the time Adolph received his honorable discharge from the Marines in October 1945, he had attained the rank of Corporal and was the proud recipient of the Purple Heart. He would forever be proud to be a Marine - Sempi Fi!

After settling into civilian life again, Adolph went back to school to further his education at DePaul University. Then, in 1947, he was invited by the Chicago White Sox to attend their spring training camp, and it wasn’t long before Adolph was playing pro ball in the Triple-A division for the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs. He spent the next several years playing baseball, and even got the chance to play against the infamous Hank Aaron.

Adolph’s life took a new direction when he was set up on a blind date with a lovely young lady named Mercedes by a baseball scout. As fate would have it, the two fell hopelessly in love and were happily married on June 28, 1953, in Chicago. The newlyweds didn’t have a honeymoon to speak of since they were in the midst of the baseball season, but over the next few years, they were blessed with four wonderful children: Blaine, Adrianne, Claudia and Kristina.

Outside of baseball, Adolph faithfully provided for his family as the Program Director at the VA Medical Center in Chicago. For over 15 years, he was able to help American vets get the care they needed and deserved. In the late 70s, Adolph took disability and left the VA to work part-time as a processor for several local attorneys, which he did for over 10 years before finally retiring.

Adolph was well liked due to his dynamic personality and ever-youthful nature. He was quite a character, always joking around and pulling pranks, but he had a sensitive soft side to him too. Being a big sportsman, it was only natural that Adolph coached Little League baseball in West Portage, and was an assistant coach at Hackett High School. He continued to play a little softball himself, and was an avid golfer too. Adolph and Mercedes were founding members of St. Monica Catholic Church, and he played on the church’s golf league for several years. He was also a big collector of model trains. To get his “funny” on, Adolph loved to watch cartoons, especially the Three Stooges, and to satisfy his huge sweet tooth, he liked to munch on Bit-O-Honey.

All who knew Adolph Kalafut will treasure his memory.

Adolph A. Kalafut, age 85, died on Sunday, February 7, 2010, in Kalamazoo, MI. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, February 10, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Monica Catholic Church, where visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. A luncheon will follow in the church hall with burial at Ft. Custer National Cemetery.

Adolph was preceded in death by his brother, Henry Kalafut. Surviving are his wife of 56 years, Mercedes Kalafut; 4 children: Blaine (Grace) Kalafut, Adrianne (Thomas) Weiss, Claudia Schramm and Kristina (John) Howard; 4 grandchildren: Brandon (Erin) Weiss, Amanda Weiss, Tyler (Jamie) Kalafut, and David Kalafut; and by 2 siblings: Edward Kalafut and Lorraine Hillock. Please visit Adolph’s personal web page at where you may share a memory or photo with his family or sign his online guest book. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or Kalamazoo Detachment of the Marine Corps League."

Semper Fidelis
Richard Deiters
MCL KC Det#766 - SGT-at-ARMS
MOS's4065/4063(First MOS 5541)

Last edited by devildog-64012; 02-10-2010 at 06:52 PM. Reason: added code to play 'TAPS'
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