2018-02-22 / Obituaries

Philip Calcina

Philip Calcina, a longtime resident of Jamestown, passed away Feb. 3, 2018, of Alzheimer’s disease, at home surrounded by his loving family.

He was the beloved husband of Hanne G. Calcina (Hoffmann), and brother of the late Gloria DelVecchio of Yardley, Pa. Philip and Hanne celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2017.

Born in New York, N.Y., in 1935 to Thomas and Jacqueline (Towill) Calcina, Phil grew up in Teaneck, N.J.. Philip was a 12th generation American on his mother’s side and his grandfather had emigrated from Gagliano Castelferrato, Sicily, and settled in Manhattan. Sadly, Philip lost his mother to tuberculosis at age 7.

An eccentric with a curiosity for how everything worked and didn’t, Phil attended New York University, received a B.S. in physics, and became a member of the first generation of software engineers working at the Link Division of General Precision Inc., on the lunar module simulator for the Apollo space program soon after graduation. A short time later, in 1964, Philip was employed in Hof, Germany, by RCA, his work related to the West Berlin air corridor of the Cold War era.

Back in Manhattan, his desire to improve his knowledge of German led Phil to meet his wife after answering an ad for German lessons. After marrying in 1967, work took Phil and Hanne out west to Southern California, and in 1969 they returned east and settled in Rhode Island, where Philip worked for many years in the naval submarine warfare related defense industry, including stints at NUSC/NUWC, Syscon and Raytheon Corp.

Philip discovered classical music at a very early age and later studied the cello and orchestration. His favorite composers were Wagner and Richard Strauss. Phil also enjoyed art and European history. He admired Marx, Einstein, Otto Von Bismarck, visionaries whose powerful thoughts irrevocably changed the world and the fabric of human society. A New Yorker at heart, Philip was friendly to all people and known for his sense of humor and easy-going nature. He was a member of the Redwood Library, the ACLU, and a reader of Monthly Review Press. A generous man at heart, Philip was also thrifty. When he wasn’t busy trying to come up with some great invention, he could be found working on cars, rewiring the house or soldering pipes for a new appliance.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son Darius Victor of Jamestown, R.I., and daughter Justine Calcina and her husband Thomas Shire of Marion, Mass.

His life will be celebrated and his ashes dispersed to the sea, at a seashore gathering of friends in the spring.

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