Rick Kalemba was a kind and gentle man who was devoted to his family, said his wife, Theresa Kalemba.
“He didn’t smile much, and he could be intimidating to look at,” she said. “But he was the sweetest, gentlest man I ever met.”
Rick Kalemba, 53, of Cedar Lake, died Jan. 15. He worked at the Bio Plant at Waste Management of Calumet City, retiring after 32 years as a plant operator.
He was a U.S. Navy veteran and a member of American Legion Post 261 in Cedar Lake.
The couple, who were married 33 years, first met when he came into a restaurant where she was working as a waitress.
“He was my one true love, my once-in-a-lifetime love,” she said. “He was a rock and always there when I needed him. We were always together.”
Kalemba enjoyed all kinds of sports, especially NASCAR, the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Cubs, his wife said.
He loved golfing and going to Florida to golf with his father, she said.
Kalemba was a hard-working, honest and loving man who always was there for people who needed him.
Family was very important, and he loved his two daughters and his grandson.
“He was a good dad. He was firm, but fair,” she said. “He helped his kids in any way he could.”