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Raymond Charles Kalinowski

1942 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Raymond Charles Kalinowski Obituary

Raymond Charles Kalinowski passed away peacefully at home in Durham, Connecticut, on August 17, 2014, at the age of 72 following a valiant fight against cancer. A son of the late Charles Casey and Eleanor (Czaja) Kalinowski, Ray was born on January 16, 1942, in Middletown, Connecticut, grew up in Rockfall, and attended St. Mary's schools and Middletown High School. After serving four years in the United States Air Force (Bremerhaven, Germany), Ray decided he wanted to focus his life on law enforcement. He had always wanted to see California, so off he drove. Ray met Sandi his first night at San Jose State University. The next summer, Sandi visited Rockfall, they got married at Saint Colman Church, and they returned to SJSU for their senior year. Ray worked at the Office of Naval Intelligence as a Special Agent in San Francisco for a year before being transferred to the United States Secret Service as a Special Agent in Connecticut. He was selected to serve with the Presidential Protective Division at the White House during the Nixon administration. Ray accompanied President Nixon in the historic 1972 visit to China along with other global assignments. After White House duty, Ray returned to criminal investigation work in New Haven and served in the Defense Investigative Service until 1996 when he retired from the U.S. government. Ray was subsequently elected as Durham's First Selectman in 1997 and served two consecutive terms. Proud accomplishments include conservation of 800+ acres of open space in Durham. From 2003 to 2009, Ray served three consecutive terms as State Representative in Connecticut, playing an instrumental role on the Environment, Veteran Affairs, and Public Safety & Security committees, the latter of which he was a ranking member. After retiring from public service, Ray and his loving wife of 46 years, Sandi, relocated to Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula in California to be nearer to their three children and six grandchildren: Steven, of Bozeman, MT, and his daughters, Jessie and Kate; Carrie (Bob Holmberg), of Mt. View, CA, and their daughters, Hazel Ray (Ray's oldest grandchild, born on his birthday) and Vivian; and Cliff (Carrie), of Woodside, CA, and their children, Piper and Dane. Aside from his wife and family, Ray's proudest achievement was constructing his home on Harvey Road in Durham using lumber from five barns that he had dismantled himself across the state. Providing the children with an upbringing in the woods of rural Durham gave both Ray and Sandi the opportunity to instill not only cherished memories, but fundamental values that have sustained the family these past months throughout Ray's challenging illness. An avid baseball fan, Ray loved playing baseball in the Little League while growing up in Rockfall, for Middletown High, with the U.S. Air Force's touring team, while in college, and with the semi-pro Chicopee Tigers team. He was also a member of the Durham American Legion Post 184. In retirement, he enjoyed playing golf before his return to Connecticut in August. It was Ray's final wish to be back on Harvey Road. In addition to his wife and family, Ray is also survived by his brother, Robert. He was predeceased by his brother, Richard. The family wishes to express heartfelt thanks to their caregivers, Dr. Thomas Bradley and Heartland Hospice in California and Dr. William Ziedler and Middlesex Hospice in Connecticut, and for the compassion of close family members and friends. The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, August 22, at Biega Funeral Home, 3 Silver Street, in Middletown. A mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 23, at Notre Dame Church, 272 Main Street, Durham. Burial with military honors will follow the mass at Mica Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Raymond Kalinowski Veterans' Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 428, Durham, CT 06422. To share memories or express condolences online please visit www.biegafuneralhome.com.

Published in The Hartford Courant on Aug. 21, 2014
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