William "Bill" Kasper Kalb

January 13, 1932 ~ July 24, 2018 (age 86)
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Bill was born January 13, 1932 to George Henry and Cora Josephine Kalb in Hartford, South Dakota. Bill was the 2nd of 4 sons’; George, Wilbur and Richard. The family lived on a farm near Wall Lake. When Bill started school at the age of 5; he went to the one room country school with around 12 other students until he started the 9th grade, where he faced a huge change because there were over 800 students in his class. Bill first fell in love with sports when he played during high school. After he graduated high school, Bill played football in college at Dakota Wesleyan University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education.

Bill met and fell in love with Doris while in college. They were married and had two sons their first son Michael was born in December of 1951. Their second son Mark was born in February of 1960.

Bill’s first teaching job was in 1955 in Jefferson, South Dakota while he was teaching PE; his coaching career also began here. From this point forward he coached Football, Basketball, Wrestling, Track, and Cross County. After teaching and coaching in Jefferson, they moved to Lions, South Dakota, and then Merino, Colorado. He moved to Yuma in 1968 where he coached in both Otis and Yuma and ended his teaching career. Throughout the years Bill taught English, Math, History, Mechanical Drawing, Welding and Drafting before he decided to retire from teaching in 1994. Bill continued to coach until 2009.

In his long career of teaching and coaching he earned several awards and certificates, along with many other accomplishments. There were a couple of awards that he was very proud about: in 1997, for Boys Track and Field, he received Coach of the Year award from the National High School Athletic Coaches Association, in 1999 he was inducted in the Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame and in 2018 he was able to attend the 50th  Bill Kalb Invitational Track Meet in Yuma. He built the track program and the physical track during his time in Merino as well as starting the welding program at Yuma High School. These ventures brought him two of his dearest friends and companions David Gustafson and Larry Siemonsma (Gus and Simi).

Bill didn’t know a stranger and knew everyone near and far. He could tell you about the first time he met someone as if it was yesterday, and if he didn’t know somebody he probably knew a family member. Bill loved to talk to everyone and he enjoyed telling stories to anyone who would listen to them, he didn’t care if the person was listening or if they knew who he was talking about, he just loved to share what he knew, especially if it was about sports of any kind. His house was always open and he loved visitors, especially the ones that he had helped along the way. Bill had a way about him that enabled him to encourage anyone and make them feel like they could accomplish anything, and in the end they always made him proud.

Bill was an avid reader and watcher of westerns, Louis L'amour, Jake Logan, and Longarm were his favorites, and he always had a book in his pocket. Bill loved his Copenhagen as much as he did his Pepsi and bubblegum, which he always had extra to share. At least once a week Bill could be found at the sale barn buying cattle. Bill loved to play cards and he cherished the hours he played Bridge with Doris and their friends. As well as supporting his grandchildren and great grandchildren during sports and other paths of life.

Bill passed away on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. He is preceded in death by his wife Doris, his grandson Brandon Kalb and his sister-in-law Ilsa. Bill is survived by his son Mike. His granddaughter Renee and children Kendall, Molly and Kyler. His son Mark and wife Donnie. His grandson Jason and children Nikell, Luke, Taylor, Sophia and Sarina. His grandson Matthew and wife Vanessa and son Dean. His grandson Danny and wife Brittani. His grandson Jerry and wife TJ. His three brothers George and wife Lorraine, Wilbur, and Richard and wife Nancy. And, by several nieces and nephews. Along with many friends, students, and athletes that meant the world to him.

There was a Celebration of Life on Friday, August 3, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at the Yuma United Methodist Church with Pastor Jaime Nieves officiating.  Baucke Funeral home directed the arrangements.

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