Larry “Coach Cal” Caldieraro Jr., 57, of Staunton, passed away Monday, Sept. 18, 2023, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO.
He was born Jan. 21, 1966, in Staunton, he was a son of the late Lawrence “Pops” and Kathy (Hanneken) Caldieraro Sr.
He married Elizabeth (Liz) on March 13, 1993.
Larry was a man of many hats (literally and figuratively).
Coach Cal, as he was known to many, was instrumental in the success and longevity of several local sports teams. His first love was football, which he played at Staunton High School and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and brought that love to the students he coached in West Frankfort, Gillespie, Mt. Olive, and Staunton. He was fortunate to be part of the staff with the 1990 Gillespie Miners Football team when they achieved their state runner-up status; he was the head coach with the Staunton Bulldogs baseball team when they reached the semifinals in 1994; he was assistant/defensive coach to the multi-year playoff Staunton Bulldogs football teams in the 1990’s; and he helped coach the Mt. Olive Wildcats to multi-year football playoff berths in the 2000’s. He also helped coach the Jaguar Junior Football League during his sons’ touch-to-tackle years. Larry finished his distinguished coaching career as assistant baseball coach and assistant football coach for the Staunton Bulldogs. Larry considered it an honor to coach the sports he loved, influencing hundreds of young men along the way with his love of sport, teamwork, dedication, and commitment.
Larry was the vocational education teacher at Staunton High School for 32 years. He also enjoyed camping, hunting, golfing, fishing, and smoking a mean brisket and ribs.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Caldieraro of Staunton; children, Sarah (Adam) Schulte of Mt. Olive, Larry Caldieraro III (Emily Frerichs) Staunton, Vincent Caldieraro of Staunton, Rebecca Caldieraro of Staunton; sisters, Angela (James) Bentley of Springfield, Cara (Brent) Reed of Pendleton, IN; brother, Bart (Carmen) Caldieraro of Greenville; granddaughters, Della and Ada Schulte of Mt. Olive; uncle, John (Susan) Caldieraro of Staunton; nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a grandson, Samuel Schulte.
Visitation was on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, at Williamson Funeral Home in Staunton. Funeral Mass were held on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Staunton with Father Tom Hagstrom officiating. The burial was held at Memorial Park Cemetery in Staunton.
Memorials are suggested to The Staunton High School Football Program, Staunton High School Baseball Program or to the Gillespie High School Football Program. The family will also be establishing a scholarship for students pursuing careers in vocational field.