John Vito Calia

“Papa Johnnie” – our beloved husband, father and grandpa is enjoying Easter in heaven, singing with the angel chorus. He did many things in his time here but what he did best was love his family and friends as he shared the gospel everywhere he went.

John grew up in Northeast Kansas City, the eldest son of Vito and Katherine Calia, graduating from Northeast High School in 1954.  He was close to his brother Joe Mike and his sister Connie.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Phyllis, and his daughter, Kathy Calia.

John was father to six of us – Chris Calia, Kathy Calia, Carey Hudson, Steve Seymour and wife Cheryl, Bill Seymour and wife Raelene, and Kathy Jenkins.  

One snowy Friday night in 1977, John was behind the bar when he met Carole Seymour, the woman who would become the love of his life and his wife for over 36 years.  They made their home in Raytown, Mo.

John held numerous jobs as an adult, working behind the bar or managing several restaurants in town.  He retired after spending 20+ years on the dock at Yellow Freight. Then he took on his favorite role as full-time grandpa to 11 grandkids – Shawnna, Jodi, Crissa, Rachael, Boomer, Jessica, Dillon, Scottie, Bethany, Katie and Hudson as well as 7 great-grandchildren – Chevy, Chase, Brandon, Logan, Jaxson, Willa, and Henni.  He relished his friendship with his nieces and nephews and especially with his close friend Aaron who liked to debate theology and history with John.

Through his faith and study of the Bible, John touched the lives of many young adults at church and in the community, whether watching his grandkids play basketball, sharing his knowledge of music, enjoying auto racing or building model planes.  He never passed up the chance to share his faith, to sing a tune, tell a joke and “make somebody smile every day.”

A memorial service is planned for Friday, April 1, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at Ascension Lutheran Church, 4900 Blue Ridge Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64133 followed by a celebration of his life in the church’s fellowship hall.  

In lieu of flowers, a donation to the church’s youth ministry would be appreciated.

Visits: 13


  1. Ron Turner on March 31, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Went to Junior High and Senior Northeast High school with John. Had great times with John playing Football and singing groups. John was an excellent athlete and singer and playing with our ukulele groups. John will be missed.

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