David Allen VanCalster, age 75, joined his Savior on September 1, 2021. Dave was born October 13, 1945, to the late Sylvan and Emily VanCalster. After graduating from Preble High School in 1963, he attended UWGB and St. Norbert College and graduated from the Bellin School of Respiratory Therapy in 1968. After graduation, Dave started a Respiratory Care Department at Marinette General Hospital. One year later, he joined the respiratory team at St. Vincent Hospital and enjoyed 37 years as assistant director and then as director of Respiratory Care. During his tenure at St. Vincent’s, he attended and graduated from Stanford University’s Sleep Disorders Program and used his education to launch the second sleep lab in the State of Wisconsin. Dave was instrumental in starting the Respiratory Practitioner Program at Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) and served as a clinical instructor for several years. He also served as a state CPR instructor/trainer.
Dave married the love of his life, Rose Stich, on May 10, 1969. They were blessed with four children. Dave enjoyed many things in his life. Downhill skiing with friends in Colorado, Rib Mountain and Indianhead created some lasting memories. He made life-long friends playing softball and basketball. Boating and water skiing throughout Wisconsin and Michigan with family and friends were highlights of their summer activities. He and Rose especially loved working in the yard and garden together, canning vegetables, cooking for large groups at church & school and also cooking meals for friends and family. He enjoyed driving his John Deere tractor; he would intentionally find opportunities to spend additional hours in the tractor seat by helping friends and family with yardwork and snow removal.
Dave was active in the community, serving as president of St. Paul Lutheran School Board, church council member of St. Paul Lutheran and Messiah Lutheran Church, treasurer of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and president of Sports & Competition. He was also an active member of 922 Ministries The Core in Appleton. Dave was a member of the Green Bay Coast Guard Auxiliary and served as commander for the Auxiliary Coast Guard Station in Green Bay. In 1985, he was awarded the highest Coast Guard Award for saving a man who was drowning during a spring storm at the mouth of the Fox River. Dave also enjoyed helping his brother, Roger, teach Boating Safety Classes. Serving God by serving others is truly his legacy.
Dave is survived by his wife of 52 years, Rose; four children, Dawn Shimura (Josiah Mouw), Appleton, Kim (Joel) Fenske, Freedom, Chad VanCalster (Jennifer Osmond-Grasse), Green Bay and Curt (Missy) VanCalster, Green Bay; fourteen grandchildren, Naomi Shimura, Tadao Shimura, Henry Mouw, Josh (Meryl) Fenske, Andrew, Isaiah, Kendra and Natalie Fenske, Isaac Bishop, Jenessa and Travis VanCalster, Alexandra, Amanda, and Nicolas VanCalster; and one great grand-child, Ayla Fenske. He is further survived by his brother, Gary (Sandra Gillaume) VanCalster, Green Bay; and his sisters-in-law, Elizabeth Ward, Milwaukee, Dorothy Allen, Arlington, TX and Elaine (Jim) Gillis, Green Bay; nieces, nephews, cousins and many, many dear friends.
Dave is preceded in death by his parents; parents-in-law Martin and Lillian Stich; brother, Roger VanCalster, sisters-in-law Joanne (Meggers) VanCalster, Ramona (Stich) Solway, Gerri (Herman) Lorbeck, and grandson, Samuel Martin Fenske.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to the wonderful staff of Unity Hospice for all of the special care provided to Dave and our family, and especially to Karmin and Kristin who provided exceptional home care. We’d also like to thank Kayla and Karen from the Bellevue YMCA for their help and encouragement throughout his recovery.
Our family is grateful and overwhelmed by the many faithful friends who have sent well wishes and meals and have spent time in prayer.
Family and friends may call at Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason Street, on Friday, September 3rd, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friends may also call at The Core, 820 W. College Avenue, Suite #1 in Appleton on Saturday from 9:00 to 10:45 a.m. The funeral service will follow at 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the church with Pastor Michael Ewart officiating. Burial will be in Nicolet Memorial Gardens. Online condolences may be given at www.prokowall.com.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Dave’s name.