Having completed 100 years of a God-blessed life on earth and rightly holding the distinction: “Centenarian”, on All Saints Sunday, (November 5th), Albert responded to God’s invitation, “Well done good and faithful servant, enter now into the joy of your Lord.” His early life, conceived through the love of Concetta St. John and John Califano which began on October 25, 1917, changed into everlasting life in heaven where he is reunited with loved ones.
Al was born, raised and educated in Schenectady. He will be remembered foremost for his love, dedication and care for his wife of 63 years, Katherine DeMarco, whom he married on July 4, 1942, and who predeceased him in 2005.
Faith being the center of his life, Al was a weekly communicant at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Roman Catholic Church, and through his 75 plus years of membership, has served faithfully as an usher; participated regularly in the Holy Name Society and Men’s group. He chaired the annual Festa, Field Day, holiday clothes collection and food baskets for those in need. He was honored with the 1967, and again in 2012, Holy Name Society Award for “Outstanding Service to the Church and Community”. An unassuming man, explaining his own quietness, quipped, “That’s why the good Lord gave you two ears and one mouth!” Al was a patient, compassionate listener who had time for everyone.
A 40-year veteran machinist of the General Electric Company and member of their Quarter Century Club, Al proudly and honorably served his county in the war-time effort, and boasted “Any job worth doing is worth doing right!” He lived that philosophy at home with his ability, as family and friends would attest, to repair and construct almost anything (mostly of remnant materials.) Al was recognized countless times with GE safety and efficiency awards. He took great pride in the appearance of his home and gardens. His neighbors referred to him as “the Mayor of Masullo Parkway.” He was regarded as a gentle man with great integrity and a strong work ethic.
His concern for youth was evidenced through his involvement with the Boy Scouts of America – being a Commissioner for many years and awarded the Arrowhead Honor. A storyteller, he was willing to share the fruits of his life’s experience. He guided apprentices in the training program at GE until his retirement in 1979.
Al bowled with the Menagerie League for 64 years where he had the respect and admiration of the bowlers who termed him their “icon,” and the distinction of being the oldest, both in membership and age. He was proud to be the second oldest member of the BPO Elks Rotterdam Lodge #2157, where he served on the Repair / Fix-it and Visitation Committees. His other hobbies included “work.” In retirement, he enjoyed serving as a limousine driver for local livery services; catering to transport – notably Jack Welch, former GE executive, and the musical group “The Grateful Dead”, school proms, weddings and funerals.
Al was the 2010 recipient of the Office of the Aging “Lifetime of Achievement” award, which he accepted humbly, yet proudly from Bishop Howard Hubbard. In that same year, he was named “Rotterdam’s Outstanding Citizen” in recognition of his strong work ethic and approach to life, which has always been one of integrity and grace.
His 100th birthday, October 25th, was recognized and acknowledged by Pope Francis, Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard, the President and Congressman of the United States; the Governor, Senator and Assemblyman of New York State, and that day was proclaimed by Mayor Gary R. McCarthy as “Albert P. Califano Day” in the City of Schenectady.
Remaining to celebrate his life and accomplishments, Al will be remembered with admiration by his son, the Rev. John A.; Claire Kolar, “Retired Registered Nurse”, Bob Kohinke, a long-time friend and dedicated caregiver; nieces and nephews for five generations.
The second youngest of 10 siblings, he was predeceased by his parents, sisters: Theresa Lippiello, Josephine Russell, Rose Manno, Angela Fitzgibbon, Lena, and Claire Califano; brothers: Anthony, Paul and Stephen.
In lieu of flowers, if you would like to remember Albert in a special way, please consider donations to:
St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church; St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Amsterdam.
You are cordially invited to visit at the Bond Funeral Home, Broadway and Guilderland Avenue on Sunday, November 12, from 2-5pm. Funeral Services for Albert will be Monday 12:15 PM at the Bond Funeral Home followed by the Mass of Christian death and burial at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church on Pleasant Street on Monday (November 13) at 1pm. Interment will be in the family plot at St. John’s Cemetery.