Louis Evangelos “Angelo” Kalorin
AKA: The toughest man ever to have lived
On January 28th, 2019,at 7:48 PM our beloved father left this world to join our mother Mary Raffaela Coppola
Kalorin. He was a man of honor and integrity and the definition of class. He never went out without his suit and black fedora hat, he treated women with respect, and if the world's most interesting man were still around he would have asked for Angelo's autograph.
Speaking of his childhood in Neapoli in southern Greece Angelo would say, “German gunships would cruise along the coast and spray machine-gun fire into our village. We would hike up into the mountains and stay in the caves, sometimes for weeks, until they left.”
When he was six years old he was guided onto a converted troop transport ship by his teenage sister, Chris.
They made the 17 day journey across the Atlantic Ocean by themselves, neither one speaking any English. It was warm when they left Greece and Angelo wore only a pair of shorts and a light shirt. By the time they reached New York he had pneumonia and spent his first Christmas in America in the hospital. He recovered and learned to speak English, graduating from Central High School in Newark, New Jersey where he loved to play soccer and was renowned for his skills at swing dance. He started working odd jobs as a child and founded his first successful business in his early 20s, running a food truck in Newark.
His food truck enterprise was interrupted when he was drafted into the United States Army. He often related during basic training maneuvers in the Mojave desert he would just tell the scorpions and rattlesnakes to “move over and make room for him” in his tent before going to sleep. As a machine gunner he was fiercely proud of his commitment to duty and was headed to Vietnam. But his destiny suddenly changed when the base cook got sick during an inspection visit from some top brass from Washington. Having never been in a military kitchen, Angelo volunteered to prepare food for the entire base including the Generals. His food was so well received that he fired his last bullet the next day and was transferred back to the east coast as an Army Chef.
He married the love of his life, Mary Raffaela Coppola, during his military service, and resumed his food truck
business after being honorably discharged. He and Mary moved south from Newark to the Jersey Shore. Angelo briefly operated a night club in Long Branch, New Jersey for a few years before starting one of his most successful enterprises, “The Rolling Grill” lunch truck, which he operated for over 25 years. He cooked for everyone and anyone. People from coast to coast loved his food. His leg of lamb once softened the heart of southern California's most notorious curmudgeon and his “tube steak” hot dogs left even the most critical New York wise guys with nothing but praise. His pork-roll egg and cheese, sausage and peppers, and pastrami sandwiches fueled a New Jersey workforce that kept factories productive for over 2 generations.
A heart attack forced him into early retirement in 1993, but he quickly recovered and reinvented himself doing part time driving for a limo service. A stroke tried to put him on the sidelines in the late 1990s, but he shook it off and came back stronger than ever, going on to form the Hellenic Limousine Company that he owned and operated for another decade. However, in November 2000, without warning he lost his sister, Chris, who had brought him to America and helped raise him. Then the very next day he lost his beloved wife of 36 years, Mary Raffaela, to cancer. Too soon. Life can be cruel. This double blow devastated him to a point that any other man would have succumbed to a broken spirit. However, it did not break him and with the strongest of wills he rebuilt himself from the ashes of his life to continue successfully running his business, engaging in the community and becoming a local icon.
After his second retirement, in 2011, he moved to Raleigh, NC to be closer to his youngest son. While in Raleigh, he successfully competed on the Atlantic Poker tour winning several tournaments and moving slowly toward his goal of qualifying for the World Series of Poker.
At age 71, he briefly returned to Greece and scaled the top of an ancient mountain that left men half his age
gasping for air and abandoning their ascent halfway. At age 73, he lost his left leg to diabetes and was fitted with a prosthesis. One year later, he returned to Greece and scaled the same mountain again just to prove he was tougher than the mountain. At the top, he was heard saying, “This mountain can go to hell if it thinks it’s tougher than I am.” Then he pulled out a flask of his favorite scotch and toasted his beloved wife Mary Raffaela.
No one ever saw him drink beer, and when beer was offered to him, he drank scotch.
Despite losing his left kidney to an aggressive cancer, at age 75 he came out of retirement to form M&A (Mary and Angelo) Properties, LLC; a real estate development and rental property company based in Raleigh, NC.
He returned to Greece at age 78 to watch his grandson play soccer. On that trip he was caught in a flash flood in Khalidiki and eventually walked a half mile through knee deep flood waters with one leg and one kidney to get to the rescue van. The next night he won a poker tournament in Thessaloniki, simply because, as the locals said, he was a “badass.”
Six months later, while planning his next adventure, he suffered a massive stroke that incapacitated his right side. He never considered quitting though and began his rehabilitation, determined to walk again inside of a month. The second, bigger stroke came soon thereafter though, and he decided it was time to let someone or something else win.
Angelo and Mary had three sons, Stephen, Dominic, and Carmin. Their objective was to give their children more than they had and a life less difficult. Stephen is a Software Developer/Business Analyst. Dominic owns and operates Deluxe Landscape Management. They both live in Red Bank, NJ and are fantastic musicians in an accomplished band called Woodfish. Carmin is a surgeon who lives in Raleigh, NC and has no musical ability whatsoever. None of them are as tough as their father.
Angelo is survived by five grandchildren - Mary, Nicole, Victor, Audrey, and Hope. Their Papou is a testament
to them, and to everyone, that it's not how many times life knocks you down that matters, it's how many times you get back up. He had every reason to quit, to complain and to be bitter when life threw rocks at him. But he was tougher than rocks and just kept going with a smile on his face.
So when life gets tough and you're thinking about giving up, ask yourself - WWPD - What Would Papou Do? And then keep going.
Angelo will be reposing at the Evergreen Memorial Funeral Home 1735 Rt 35 Middletown, NJ 07748 on Friday February 1, 2019 from 4 – 8pm. A prayer service from the Greek Orthodox Church will be held in the funeral home at ~6pm.
A burial will take place on Saturday February 2, 2019 at Mt. Olivet Cemetery at 10:00am. Friends and family are invited to meet at the funeral home Saturday morning at 9am and process to the cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please raise a glass in his honor and make a donation in Angelo’s name to the American Cancer Society.