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Robert's Story

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Robert "Bob" Calonkey died February 25, 2017. He was born in McAlester, Oklahoma on March 21, 1925 to Anne Marie Robbe Calonkey and Leon R. Calonkey. He was raised in McAlester and graduated from McAlester High School in 1943, entering the U.S. Army in 1943. He received training as an Army Infantryman and Army Specialized Training at the University of Wisconsin, becoming a cryptographer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He proudly served during World War II as a cryptographer in the headquarters of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Commander-in-Chief of the South West Pacific in New Guinea, Leyte, and Luzon. He entered Japan on V-J day and served under General MacArthur, supreme commander allied powers in Tokyo, until March 1946. For his service to his country, he was awarded the Southwest Pacific Medal with three battle stars, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two Battle Stars, Japanese occupation medal, and the Republic of the Philippines Presidential Citation.
After the war, he attended the University of Oklahoma where he graduated with a B.S. degree in Business Administration in 1950. He was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma honorary business scholastic fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, business fraternity, Scabbard and Blade military fraternity, and Kappa Alpha Order. In 1950, he was also commissioned in the U.S. Air Force as a statistical control officer. During his freshman year of college he met Sara Jean Landsaw. The couple were married shortly after their graduation from O.U. in 1950 and worked and shared their lives together for over 66 years.

In 1958, Bob and Sara Jean opened Mister Robert Fine Furniture in down town Norman. Named after Bob, the store remains a vital part of Norman to this day. All four of their children, Steve, Ellen, Keven and Tim, worked in the store full time after their own college graduations. He was a lifelong Catholic and member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Norman.

Bob was known to many students as landlord during their years at OU. He loved taking care of his houses and planting magnificent trees in their yards. He especially enjoyed renting houses to children of former renters.

Bob died just 46 days after his loving wife Sara Jean's death. He is also preceded in death by his parents Leon and Anne Marie, as well as his older brother Leon and his wife Isabelle and his younger sister Leona who died in childhood. He is survived by his son Steve and his spouse Susy and their two children Robert and Katelynn; daughter Ellen Calonkey Bones, and her son Dr. Paul Bones and his wife Bradlin; daughter Keven Calonkey Carl, her husband John and their two daughters Sara Mongold and her husband Gray, and great granddaughter Emma Mongold, and Caroline Carl; and son Timothy Patrick Calonkey. Other surviving relatives include Landsaw family members and his niece Erin Michaels of Tulsa.

Funeral services are under the direction of Tribute Memorial Care (708 24th Ave NW, Norman), where the family will be present to receive friends on Wednesday, March 1st from 6:00-8:00 pm. There will be a Vigil Prayer Service at 6:00 pm on Thursday, March 2nd in the Chapel of St. Joseph Catholic Church (located in the Parish Center at 425 E. Acres St, Norman). Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 am on Friday, March 3rd at St. Joseph Catholic Church (211 N. Porter Ave, Norman). Burial will follow at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, c/o St. Joseph's Catholic Church (P.O. Box 1227, Norman, OK 73070) or the charity of your choice.

Condolences may be shared at www.tribute.care.
Published on  February 27, 2017
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