Cary Michael Kalafatis
1955 - 2014
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Cary Michael Kalafatis
March 17, 1955 ~ May 28, 2014
Resident of Walnut Creek
Cary Michael Kalafatis, 59-years-old, went to be with our Lord on Wednesday, May 28, 2014. Family surrounded him during his peaceful passing at his home in Walnut Creek, California. Cary was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer in December of 2009 and valiantly fought the disease with remarkable dignity and resilience.
Cary was born March 17, 1955 in Castro Valley, California. He lived most of his life in the Bay Area, eventually settling with his family in Pittsburg, California. After 28 years in Pittsburg, in 2012, he and his wife, Ava "Sue" Kalafatis, moved to their piece of paradise, in the Rossmoor community in Walnut Creek.
Cary Michael was named after Kerry County in Ireland because of being born on St. Patrick's Day. He was raised in Oakland, attending Skyline High School until his junior year, at which time his parents moved the family to San Diego, where Cary graduated from Clairemont High School in 1974.
After his High School graduation, Cary returned to the Bay Area, where he briefly worked in the janitorial field. He then joined with his brother, John, to work for his brother's business, Evergreen Maintenance. At that time he furthered his education by taking classes in horticulture and landscaping at Diablo Valley College. Cary left his brother's business to pursue his career as a Union Carpenter. He was a member of the Northern Carpenters Union, Local 152, until he retired in 2010. He proudly worked for several companies, with the most recent being Overaa, Roebblen, and Swinerton. Pleased with his chosen profession, he would often poignantly show his family projects he had worked on in various locations throughout Northern California. Cary was very meticulous and when his wife would praise his work, he would modestly say, "I'm not perfect, there was only one perfect carpenter" revealing the personal relationship Cary had with our Lord.
Cary's love of his profession, led him to discover woodturning. After taking some classes on woodturning at the Pleasant Hill Adult Education, he began creating beautiful bowls and pens, which he would lovingly gift to his friends and family. He loved to camp; he took his family to KOA Santa Cruz during the summer, where beautiful memories were made. He also loved working in his yard, where his kind nature was evident as his pet turtle, Shelly, would lovingly follow him around the yard. When Cary was originally diagnosed with Bladder Cancer, his love of Disneyland was evident as his initial reaction to the horrible news was to go to Disneyland. He also loved the ocean, often taking his wife to the Hearst Castle in San Simeon.
Cary is survived by his wife, Ava Sue Kalafatis (Jobe), his two children, Kurt Kalafatis and Alexis Kalafatis, both of Pittsburg, his stepson, Mark Riesen, his four stepchildren, Deidre Molakides of Concord, Cameron Molakides, Janelle Molakides, and Elyse Molakides, all of Pittsburg; his granddaughter Monica Martinez, his grandson, Killian Quionez; his brother Chris Kalafatis (Mary), of Danville, and sister Deena York, of American Canyon, his sister-in-law Marilyn Kalafatis, of San Ramon, his nephews Steve Kalafatis (Michelle), and Matt Kalafatis (Mary Claire), and niece Christine Kalafatis, of Danville. He is preceded in death by his parents, Alex and Donna Kalafatis, his brother John Kalafatis, and his ex-wife (mother of Mark, Kurt and Alexis), Jennifer Kalafatis.
Family and friends alike will truly miss Cary's kind and gentle soul. He was truly one of the "good guys." Someone once said, you can tell the true nature of a person by how animals and children respond to them; and it is no wonder that children and animals loved Cary.
The family would like to thank Hospice of the East Bay for their assistance in honoring Cary's wishes.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network.
Services will be held at the Wilson & Kratzer Chapel of San Ramon Valley, 825 Hartz Way, Danville on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 11:00 am.

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Published in Contra Costa Times on Jun. 7, 2014.
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Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
June 12, 2014
I have known Cary for all of my years as a carpenter. From our apprenticeship classes in 1978 to 1980, to the surprise, seeing him when I picked up my boys from daycare in the 1990's, working with, and for Cary on several jobs, Union meetings, and retirement lunches, we always enjoyed talking, and seeing each other as carpenter Brothers and friends, but when someone like Cary leaves us, it's always too soon. I'll miss Cary, and after going to his Memorial, Celebration of Life, I know the World is missing Cary also. The good guys are never with us, long enough. Hope to see you again Cary. You have been Blessed, and God Bless your family.
William(Bill) Tinsley
June 11, 2014
We were very sad to hear of Cary's passing. He was a kind and friendly neighbor and we always enjoyed talking with him as we crossed paths. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family..


Jim, Roxanne and Sam Voeltz
June 11, 2014
I was very sorry to hear of Cary's passing. He was truly a caring and kind person. It's been many years since we've seen each other, but the lasting impressions will never be forgotten. My deepest condolences for his family.
Paul Callaghan
June 8, 2014
one of the best memories I have of Cary is when Cary, Mike Meo and myself Matt Harris went camping at Big Bear in the Santa Cruz mountains. the fist night we all froze our butts off so the second night we put stones from the fire pit wrapped in paper towels under our sleeping bags to keep our feet warm and Cary's sleeping bag caught on fire in the middle of the night! we woke to the sound of Cary getting out of his sleeping bag jumping around kicking dirt on his sleeping bag! It burned a good size hole in his sleeping bag. We could'nt stop laughing, it was funny watching him jump around cooling his feet down. We were still teenagers, I was still living in Oakland then. Needless to stay we cut our camping trip short and came home the next day.
Last time I saw Cary was at my brothers shop, he had his girls with him and I had my son Casey with me, Mike brought his go cart and we had a nice day. I had come down for my nephew Tims weddding. Cary will be missed, even though we did not see much of each other after I moved to Paradise CA, I always think about him as a good friend and I was sad to learn of him passing. Cary will always be in my heart and my thoughts, lots of good memories. My condolences to his family, RIP Carry.
Matt, Sue and Casey Harris
June 7, 2014
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. God bless you and give you peace during this and all times. Love, your Texas cousins Debbie and family
Debr Daniel
June 7, 2014
Our thoughts, prayers and memories are with you. Rest in Peace, Cary. With love and sympathy, Mark and Laura
June 6, 2014
R. I. P. brother Cary. It was fun working with you the last few years. I will miss are times at the retired carpenters lunches.
Lew Tormey
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