Sept. 25, 1939 - Oct. 24, 2017
When Gerald "Jerry" Kalisz retired in 2004 as chief court security officer at Buffalo's federal courthouse, he said he was done wearing uniforms.
"I've worn uniforms since I was a kid - altar boy, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Army, trooper, court security officer, and probably a hundred baseball and basketball uniforms," Mr. Kalisz told a Buffalo News reporter at the time. "It's time to stop wearing a uniform and enjoy myself with my family."
Mr. Kalisz, a respected policeman and popular figure in the federal courts during his 17 years there, died Tuesday in Hospice Buffalo in Cheektowaga, after a brief illness. The long-time Alden resident was 78.
Before he worked in the courts, Mr. Kalisz spent 25 years as a state trooper, stationed at Troop A in Batavia. He previously served in the Army for three years, spending most of that time as a military policeman in Germany.
A talented athlete, Mr. Kalisz grew up on Buffalo's East Side. He graduated from Kensington High School, where he starred on the baseball, football and basketball teams and was voted "Kensington's Dream Boy" by classmates during his senior year.
He was married for 50 years to the former Sharon Schintzius, who died in 2015.
Mr. Kalisz loved traveling with his wife, spending time with his four grandchildren, following sports and reading, especially about the Civil War and World War II. He was a longtime umpire with men's softball leagues in Batavia.
"People who participated in those games told me that nobody ever argued with Jerry as an umpire, because Jerry was fair," his daughter recalled.
He belonged to the Batavia chapter of the Former State Troopers Association and the Kensington High School Alumni Association. Mr. Kalisz served briefly as a town justice in Darien Center during the 1980s.
He was an enthusiastic volunteer in the Troopers Helping Hands organization and also at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church.
Mr. Kalisz is survived by a daughter, Kimberly Miller, and two sons, John and Michael.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Saturday at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 10677 Alleghany Road, Darien Center.