Born: July 22, 1925; Spring Valley
Died: May 6, 2021; Canfield, Ohio
CANFIELD, Ohio – Our beloved husband and father, Thomas Kaleel, 95, fell asleep with the Lord at home the morning of May 6th. He was surrounded by his loving wife, children and grandchildren.
He was born July 22nd, 1925 in Spring Valley, Illinois, son of the late Nicholas and Shafica Kaleel, who immigrated to the United States from Rashyia, Lebanon.
Thomas and his brothers, George, Nespo, and Ernest, ran a wholesale produce business in the 1930s. One by one, they went off to serve their country in World War II. When Thomas, the youngest of the four boys went off to serve in the U.S. Navy, the business had to cease operations. When the war ended, all four boys safely returned home and restarted their family business.
On October 2nd, 1955, Thomas married the love of his life, Lueva Hoodhood from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thomas moved Lueva to Spring Valley, where they realized that this rural farming community was too small to support their growing family. Thomas researched and found an opportunity to purchase a produce company in Youngstown, Ohio. He and his brothers uprooted their families and relocated to Youngstown where Kaleel Brothers, Inc. was founded in 1956. Thomas started working at 10 years old and did not stop until 2 weeks prior to his passing. Because of his lifelong dedication, Kaleel Brothers, Inc. is a very successful nationally known foodservice distribution company.
Thomas is survived by his wife of 65 years, Lueva "Eve"; daughter, Janice (Rick) Paxson, son, Ron (Megan) Kaleel, daughter, Nancy (Mitch) Barrock, and son Terry Kaleel; nine granddaughters, Cara (Erik) Zuika, Courtney Paxson, Danielle Barrock, Kaitlin Kaleel, Alexis (Danny) Herzog, Ashley Kaleel, Kendall Kaleel, Mila Kaleel, and Penelope Kaleel; three grandsons, Thomas Barrock, Thomas Kaleel and Ryan Kaleel; and five great-grandchildren, Eva Zuika, Kylie Herzog, Owen Zuika, Logan Herzog, and Carter Zuika.
Thomas was preceded in death by his parents, Nicholas and Shafica; and his siblings Mabel, Geena, George, Nespo, Ernest, and Adele.
He had many passions, but above all, Tom was devoted to his family, his faith, and his work. Thomas was one of the founding members of Saint Mark Orthodox Church in Youngstown, and was instrumental in building the existing church. He was the board president many times throughout his lifetime and was a member of the Order of Saint Ignatius.
Thomas was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and created a strong foundation of family values for his loved ones. He was the patriarch of his family and loved nothing more than to be surrounded by his family. Although, he is no longer with us, he has left a beautiful legacy that his family will cherish forever.
Calling hours for family and friends were May 11, 2021, at Rossi Brothers and Lellio Funeral Home, 4442 South Avenue in Boardman, Ohio. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, May 12 at 10 a.m. at Saint Mark Orthodox Church, 3560 Logan Way in Youngstown with calling hours beginning at 9 a.m. at the church.
Due to COVID-19, safety precautions will be taken. The 6-foot rule will be honored, and we kindly ask that all guests whose health allows, please wear a mask.
Family and friends are encouraged to offer prayers for the family and support via phone call, text, email or may visit the Book of Memories at www.rossifunerals.com
Memorial contributions may be made to Saint Mark Orthodox Church.
Published by Bureau County Republican on May 12, 2021.