Samuel J. Calavitta
1942 - 2021
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Samuel J. Calavitta
06/04/1942 - 02/19/2021
Mr. Cal, a beloved high desert teacher for over 30 years, peacefully passed away on Feb. 19th, 2021. For funeral and other memorial arrangements please visit

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Published in Daily Press from Mar. 3 to Mar. 8, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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12 entries
March 19, 2021
Sammy, my sweet cousin. The few times we spent time together were the gatherings at our Grandparents, at a young age of 7. Soon after they moved to California. Throughout the years the love was always there. Sammy & father visited Buffalo, we were age 17 we had quality time making up for lost years enjoying the beach, swimming, & laughing. When I visited California at Age 21, he just married his beautiful wife Diane, & one more time again at age 69. The times were few but full of memorable love for Sammy & his lovely sister Lois Ann, mother & father. Love you Sammy.....your cousin Sally
Sally Ann D'Amico
March 13, 2021
Our deepest condolences to The Calavitta Family. Mr. Cal was such a great influence in the classroom as well as at church. His charismatic smile and jokes will forever be in our memories. Rest in Eternal paradise, Mr. Cal.
The Diaz Family
Celina (Diaz) Phillips
March 11, 2021
The group of students who had him, including my son Jack Davis and my daughter-in-law Barbra Emory Davis, never stopped talking about what a great teacher he was. When you are still talking about a teacher 30 years later, it gives you a good picture of their influence. I would guarantee that over the years, the lives he changed and/or influenced would be an incredibly huge number. As a retired educator myself, it is what we hope we have done...not only teach our students but to have made a difference in their life. Mr. Cal topped the list on both. Rest In Peace.
Suzette Davis...Retired School District Superintendent
March 10, 2021
As a new teacher in 1981, Sam was one of my favorite co-workers. He was always, always positive. And Diane, when your influence finally led him to the Lord, Sam became even more joyful. He touched hearts. I’ll never forget some of our conversations because they were of substance, never empty. The way he edified others really made a difference. God bless you and give your family peace, Diane,
Sandy Burk
March 9, 2021
I was a student in Mr. Cal’s advanced math class as a 5th and 6th grade student in 1990-1991 and 1991-1992. I share Kelley Keating’s sentiment when I echo that he was an amazing teacher who believed in each and every one of his students. He had a special talent for finding the good within each of us and making sure that it was what shined the most in us. I remember he used to open his classroom up during lunch, moving all of the desks to the sides and playing 50’s records on a then-ancient record player and having students come in for “sock hops”. It didn’t matter if you were in his class or not (most of us hoped in 5th grade during MAT6 testing that we would end up in his class the following year-but many of us wound up with Mrs. Cole next door).
Pretty fun stuff at 11-12 years old! His classes were always inclusive and his attitude/approach towards us as people-not just children and students-was something I’ve never experienced with any other teacher or professor. Condolences to Mrs. Cal, Sam Jr, Joe and David. He left an indelible mark on me and left me with some of the best life lessons that I am still working on.
March 8, 2021
My cousin Sammy has held a piece of my heart from when I was a little girl, and he was a teenager, when he came to visit in Buffalo. He told me to hold our pinkey fingers together when he was there, and we would always be connected. I am so sad to hear of his passing, without getting to see him one more time! RIP Cuz...I love you!
Patricia D’Amico
March 8, 2021
Mr. Cal and I taught together at Park View for several years.I remember him as an exceptional educator,coach and friend. He will always be in my memory. Sincerely, George Colby
George Colby
March 7, 2021
Mr Cal , Thanks for your friendship.March of Dimes support.Prayers
tom schibusch
March 7, 2021
Mr. Cal was my math teacher in the 6th grade and taught the more advanced of the three math classes offered to the 6th grade cohort. One time I told him I wanted to go to the “other” math class because his class was too hard. He listed, and told me no in the nicest way. He said I could handle his math class and he would help me. I’d never had someone (minus parents) believe in me at this point of my young life and he gave me the confidence and security to learn. He didn’t let me quit and above all the academics he taught me I will never forgot the lesson of grit and how transformative it is just to believe in a child- no matter who you are to them. An amazing teacher and person that has touched the lives of many. I hope to give a young child the devotion and kindness that Mr. Cal gave me and play it forward. He will never be forgotten.
Kelley Keating
March 6, 2021
He was a great teacher. He turned his students on to education and made it fun. He was one of the best
Sharon Bowers
March 5, 2021
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Randal Fulkerson
March 4, 2021
It was my distinct pleasure to work with Mr. Cal. He had boundless energy and enthusiasm for teaching. Whatever situation he was asked to do he was successful. Other staff would target to beat Mr. Cal's Junior Olympic teams or math competition teams as he was that good. He was fondly remembered by former students. I spoke with one, who was an adult at the time about his most memorable teacher and he said, MR. Cal. as he never wanted to not be prepared for class. I said that is because you knew he cared. That was what motivated Mr. Cal, he cared, was always prepared and gave everyday his all. To his wife, Diane and children I offer my sincerest condolences.
Ralph Baker
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