Cal married Marion PuffPaff in 1957 and they had four children. She preceded him in death in 1977. He married Carol Warfield in 1981 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Cal graduated from South High School in Grand Rapids in 1946. He received an associate’s degree in engineering from Grand Rapids Junior College in 1949. While at GRJC, he was a track stand-out in five field events. Cal was always interested in cars and built a custom Ford Convertible. In 1950, Cal raced stock cars and won the 100-mile non-stop race in Grand Rapids.
Cal was drafted into the Army during the Korean War from 1950-52. He was wounded in North Korea and was awarded the Purple Heart in 1951, as well as three other awards for his service in Korea. After his discharge in 1952, he went on to race sports cars. He enrolled at Michigan State University in 1952, and graduated in 1954, majoring in economics. After graduating from MSU, he went on to sell insurance and construction equipment.
Cal received his pilot’s license in the 1970s and enjoyed flying his customers from Grand Rapids to various destinations. He was also very interested in real estate and was a licensed agent for more than 55 years. Cal was a member of the American Legion, Charles A. Conklin Post 28. He was an avid golfer, and got a hole-in-one twice. Cal had the same golfing partner for 35 years. He had two dogs, Poppy and Remi, who were his buddies. In 1993, Cal was diagnosed with cancer, and continued to battle it until his passing.
Cal will be lovingly remembered and missed by his wife of 38 years, Carol; his children: James E. (Leslie) Foster, Diane (Mark) Tomasunas, Nicholas Tomasunas, Anna Sowder, Laurel Sowder and Lucas Sowder; step-children, Jerry (Diana) Ditrapani and C. Cimon Cumming; and grandchildren: Alexandra Ditrapani, Danielle Ditrapani, Juston Stille, Cure Cumming and Hector Cumming.
In accordance with Cal’s wishes, cremation has taken place and there will be no service. Memorial contributions in his memory may be given to the American Cancer Society of Michigan. Please visit www.klaassenfuneralhome.com to sign Cal’s online guestbook.