Walter Callari, 82
Walter Callari, a devoted husband, exemplary father and a retired insurance executive, died Wednesday, February 24, 2021.
Born and raised in the Bronx, he attended Cardinal Hayes High School where he played varsity baseball & football. In 1956 he played for the Dodger Rookies, an All Star team that played in Metropolitan New York. After receiving several major league offers, he decided to go to college and graduated from Fordham University in 1960 and was named a Distinguished Military Graduate in the Air Force ROTC program.
He served six years on active duty, attaining the rank of Captain. He was stationed at Dreux Air Base, France and later was in the Strategic Air Command at Plattsburgh AFB, New York where he was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for his accomplishments as Chief, Security Force. He received an honorable discharge and went to work in 1966 for the Glens Falls Insurance Company.
In 1973 he opened a new office for Continental Insurance in Jacksonville, FL, and was promoted to Assistant Vice President in 1978 and placed in charge of administration in the New York Metropolitan Region. He was named Vice President, Administration for the Special Operations Group and ended his career after almost 30 years with the Marine Office of America, the ocean marine company of Continental, as Vice President of Operations.
Walter was married to his wife of 60 years, the former Helene Kirby, who predeceased him a month earlier. They both traveled together extensively during his military and business careers.
After retirement, he did in-depth research on his family history as well as that of his wife. He enjoyed numismatics and photography and made regular trips with his wife to Atlantic City for relaxation.
He was an active parishioner of St. Rita's Church, serving as Eucharistic Minister, Lector and was a former member of the Parish Council. He taught religious education classes for 8th grade CCD.
Walter is survived by his seven children - William, Charles, Stephen, Thomas, Mary Granito, Anne Cordato and Helen Fitzgibbons. He is also survived by daughter-in-law Linda and sons-in-law James, Vincent and Timothy. His pride and joy were his 16 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in memory of Walter.
Funeral from the Matthew Funeral Home Inc., 2508 Victory Blvd. on Wednesday, 3/3/2021, departing at 9:15 AM. Funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Rita's R.C Church at 10:00 AM. Interment will follow in Resurrection Cemetery. Family and friends may visit on Tuesday, 3/2/2021, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM and 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
Matthew Funeral Home
2508 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, N.Y. 10314
Published by Staten Island Advance on Feb. 28, 2021.