Eugene “Gene” J. Kalina, 79, of rural Pawnee City, passed away very peacefully at his family farm home on Friday, August 3, 2012 surrounded by his loving wife, daughter and family and also other close family members who had just come to visit. Gene was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in January of 2010. Many efforts were made to combat the disease, during which time he continued to farm until very recently. Gene was born to Frank and Maggie (Dvorak) Kalina on June 30, 1933 at rural Pawnee City. He attended rural Sheridan School District #14 and completed high school in Pawnee City graduating in 1951. Gene spent his entire life on the family farm. He was a gentle, hardworking, conscientious man who loved the land and family above all. On September 20, 1975, Gene was united in marriage to Alice Ortmeier at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in West Point, Nebraska. Seven years after their marriage, they adopted their daughter, Kathy. Gene became a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Steinauer following his baptism and confirmation previous to his marriage. Gene was a quiet man with a witty sense of humor, especially in challenging times. He and Alice loved to travel, especially with family and close friends, enjoying play cards with friends and “Aggravation” with the family. He also loved to garden and go to cultural events. Gene enjoyed building memories with the grandchildren and made sure that they had fun things to do. Pitching at the annual family baseball game sometime during the Easter season was always funny and memorable and his grandsons’ fondest memories included having fun on the three lawnmowers with their grandpa while the granddaughters treasure their one-on-one time with him.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, brother Bill Kalina and brothers-in-law, Francis and William Hecht.
He is survived by his wife Alice of Pawnee City, daughter Kathy Monarrez and husband Kilin of Pawnee City, grandchildren, Christopher, Jacob, Hailey, Jordann, Logan, Tyler, Rianna and Brittyn, three step-grandchildren, Alex, Katy and Lilly, 2 great-grandchildren, Taushanea and Jayden, sisters, Silvia Hecht of Seneca, KS and Velma Hecht of Overland Park, KS, nieces, nephews, many relatives and friends.
Funeral mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Wed. Aug. 8, 2012 at the St. Anthony Catholic Church in Steinauer with Father Scott Courtney officiating. Visitation will be at the Wherry Mortuary in Pawnee City, Tues from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Rosary will be recited at the St. Anthony Catholic Church in Steinauer at 7:00 p.m. Interment will be in the St. Anthony Catholic Cemetery, Steinauer. Memorials may go to the family’s choice. Online condolences may be left @ www.wherrymortuary.com.