Local Obits

Obituary of Virginia Porter Calale


Virginia Porter Calale passed away peacefully on Thursday the 23rd of February at Cedar Run Nursing home. She now is at peace and reunited with her best friend and husband of 55 years, Richard J “Dick” Calale Sr. The moment of her passing marked the end of an era. Gini, as she was affectionately known, was a wonderful wife, mother and businesswoman. From a difficult childhood, Gini grew to be a trailblazer for modern women in Cortland County. Gini graduated from Homer Central Schools in 1957 after previously attending Cortland City Schools. She spent the entirety of her adult life with her husband in Homer, NY. During her childhood, she formed beautiful friendships that she maintained all of her life with great loyalty and joy. To all of her friends, please now that she loved you all very much.

As a young woman, Gini became a go-getter and was always someone who could be counted on. She began her professional life at Cortland Memorial Hospital as a lab tech. She then went on to become a licensed real estate agent, and eventually attained her broker’s license, enjoying a 30-year career helping the people of Cortland County. During that time, Gini was a devoted volunteer, sat on numerous boards such as the Salvation Army, Hospital Aid, The 1890 House, The Cortland County Republican Committee, and sat as the NYS Republican Committeeperson and convention delegate. Her passions were many, from antiques to running and participating in local, State Senate, Assembly and gubernatorial campaigns, as well as national and presidential campaigns. She was friends with numerous senators, legislators, and congressmen, and even met President Ronald Reagan.

Gini was known as a great entertainer of friends and family in her beloved family home. Her fantastic parties and holiday gatherings were locally famous, and were always the best time. If ever someone needed a fundraiser or party planned, Gini was the one to call (God bless her husband!).

Gini, or “Gramma” to her beloved grandchildren, was a devoted grandparent alongside her husband Dick, affectionately called “Jiddo”. She loved being with and cooking for her grandchildren, having sleepovers, going to the movies, school concerts, sporting events, and especially loved going for a good diner breakfast. Her grandchildren grew up incredibly close in the company of their grandparents, and she will be dearly missed.

Virginia was a giver, a doer, a volunteer and was always committed to being a wonderful wife, mother, sister, and grandmother. She enjoyed laughter, family, friends (especially her close band of girlfriends), and the people of Cortland County. Virginia Porter Calale was he quintessential modern businesswoman of her time, and her passing truly marks the end of an era.

Surviving Virginia are her sister, Margaret (Bob Henning) Gaus, her two children, Richard John “RJ” Calale Jr. of Homer, NY, Cathleen (David) Calale VanOrden of Homer, NY, grandchildren Jaclyn Ann Calale of Doylestown, PA, Richard J. “Tripp” Calale III of Cortland, NY, Sterling “Trevor” Calale of Ft. Collins, CO, Jeffery Cole (Kristyn Williams) VanOrden of Redwood City, CA, Steven VanOrden of Syracuse, NY, Jonathon Cody VanOrden of PA, and Catherine Leigh VanOrden of Homer, NY.

Graveside ceremonies to be announced in the near future on the Donald Barber Funeral Home website.

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