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Robert J. Kalanja

March 12, 1923 ~ March 13, 2018 (age 95)

Robert J. Kalanja, 95, of Trafford, passed away Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in Forbes Regional Hospital, Monroeville. He was born March 12, 1923, son of Sophia (Yandrich) Suzich and Petar Kalanja. A true Renaissance man, Robert led a unique and interesting life. During his lifetime, he worked at Westinghouse, as a salesman, and proprietor for many years of Bob’s Market in Trafford. At the age of 43, he attended the University of Pittsburgh, and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1972. He received his M.Ed., Summa Cum Laude, in 1973, and went on to teach English at Franklin Regional Intermediate High School as chairman of the English department until his retirement in 1985. During his lifetime, he had many distinctions, including being named the youngest Scoutmaster east of the Mississippi River. A compassionate man, he was active behind the scenes in his community as a Boy Scout representative for the philatelist badge, past President of the Trafford High School band boosters, and was active in St. Regis Church with his friend, Father Thomas Gillen. As a lifelong learner and teacher, he was a lover of all forms of music and literature; a quick wit with a love of learning; and a bedrock of his family who inspired those who loved him every day. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his stepfather, Milos Suzich. He is survived by the love of his life, Mary Lou (Morocco) Kalanja. They would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on May 8. He is also survived by his children, daughter Diane (Dennis) Persin, and son Robert (Cyndi) Kalanja; beloved grandchildren, Diane (Richard) Economakis, Mary (Daniel) Meyer, Dennis (Sarah) Persin, Robert (Emily) Kalanja, and Elizabeth (Jon) Augustine, as well as three great-grandchildren—Anthea Economakis, Leo Meyer, and Andrew Persin. He is also survived by his faithful dog, Meg. The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at Harmarville HealthSouth, and Forbes Regional Hospital ICU, 3rd & 5th floor, and Palliative Care & Hospice doctors and nurses for their compassionate care.  Family and friends will be received on Thursday from 6-8 PM in the John M. Dobrinick Funeral Home Inc., 702 7th Street (State Rt. 130) Trafford 412-372-3111.  Parting prayers will be at 9AM in the funeral home Friday followed by a funeral Mass at 9:30 AM in the St. Regis Church with Fr. David Nazimek as celebrant.  Entombment will follow in the New St. Joseph Cemetery, N. Versailles.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Mother Cabrini League, 434 W. Deming Place #1, Chicago, IL 60614; St. Regis Church 517 Homewood Ave.,Trafford, PA 15085 or Mother Teresa Sister Maria-Lucy, MC Superior, Missionaries of Charity, 335 East 145th St. Bronx, New York, 10451.


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