Nelson Joseph Kalina

May  17th, 1956 April  9th, 2024
Clifton Park, NY
Nelson Joseph Kalina

In loving memory of a life well-lived with rockin' music, good times, and cherished memories.


Nelson Joseph Kalina, 67, passed away peacefully in the early hours of April 9, 2024.

Born May 17th, 1956 in Fort Hood, TX, Nelson was the beloved son of Joseph and Margot Kalina. Raised in a military family he moved frequently, splitting most of his time between Texas and Germany, where he grew up alongside his sisters Karen and Diane. Throughout his life, Nelson held a deep connection to his German roots, cherishing his heritage and the bonds he shared with his extended family across the ocean. Nelson welcomed his first two children, Adam Kalina (1980) and Jennifer Kalina (1979 - 2019), with his former spouse Emily Madison.  He enlisted in the army in 1980 and trained in Combat Medicine & Behavioral Science. While stationed in Fort Huachuca, AZ as a Counselor at the Mental Health Clinic in 1983, he met his future wife Catherine “Cathy” Tarbox. Nelson and Cathy were married on February 15th, 1984 and had two children together, Travis Kalina (1986) and Lacey Kalina (1991). Nelson was passionate about cars and pursued a career as District Manager and Franchise Owner of Econo Lube n’ Tune for over 15 years.

Nelson was a lover of music and going to concerts. He enjoyed working on cars and riding motorcycles. His hobbies included family camping trips, jet skiing, playing bass, watching his favorite sports teams and competing in paintball tournaments. His love for music, cars, motorcycles, and the thrill of exploration infused his life with excitement and purpose. Whether he was revving up engines or cruising through waves on a jet ski, Nelson embraced every moment with unwavering passion. Yet, amidst his diverse interests, Nelson's greatest joy was found in the company of loved ones and cracking jokes any chance he could.

Nelson is survived by his devoted wife Cathy Kalina of 40 years, his loving children Adam Kalina with his wife Carole and their kids Zoe, Everett, Oliver, and Ruby, Travis Kalina and his husband Andrew, Lacey Kalina and her partner Cameron, and his cherished sisters Karen Rathmell and Diane Lehman and their families. He leaves behind a legacy of humor and love for music and adventure that will forever remain in the hearts of those who knew him.

Nelson is preceded in death by his older brother Robert Kalina, father Joseph Kalina, mother Margot Kalina, daughter Jennifer Kalina, mother-in-law Mabel Tarbox, sister-in-law Deborah Tarbox, and niece Heather Tarbox. 


May 17th
Fort Hood, Texas
Graduates Judson High School
San Antonio, Texas
December 12th
Birth of Jennifer
San Antonio, Texas
Enlists in Army
Army Basic Training Combat Medic & Behavioral Science training
Fort Jackson, N.C. & Fort Sam Houston, Texas
September 14th
Birth of Adam
San Antonio, Texas
February 15th
Gets married to Cathy
Fort Huachuca, Arizona
Gets stationed in Germany
NCO in charge of Social Work Services
Heidelberg, Germany
July 3rd
Birth of Travis
Heidelberg, Germany
Moves back to Texas
Econo Lube n' Tune
District Manager and Franchise Owner)
March 5th
Birth of Lacey
San Antonio, Texas
Becomes Grandparent
To Zoe then later to Everett, Oliver, and Ruby
Enjoys his later years by simply spending quality time with his family
April 8th
Passed away peacefully
Clifton Park, New York


Memory wall

Share your memories and photos of Nelson.

April 25, 2024
I remember the times, we had together. From our childhood until your last visit with Travis. I remember, we hear the same music and talk alot about our family until the morning. You wrote emails until you can't do it anymore I miss them, I miss you and I never forget you. You are always in my heart ❤️. Love you my dear cousin!
Gabriele Corrado
April 18, 2024
Your witty charismatic ways will be missed Nelson. Memories of all the special times we had at the gym, our walks at Lookout Comanche Park, The Harlequin music venue and our coast trips are etched in my heart forever. I love you. 💝
Diane Kalina Lehman


What was Nelson's favorite Music Artists?
The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elvis, ABBA, Queen, Eagles, Foreigner, and many more

Nelson's Playlist:
What was Nelson's favorite Movies?
Hair, Full Metal Jacket, Saving Private Ryan, That Thing You Do, Forrest Gump, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, O Brother, Where Art Thou?
What was Nelson's favorite Sports Teams?
San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Astros
What was Nelson's favorite Travel destination?
Germany especially Bad Homburg, Frankfurt, and Heidelberg
What was Nelson's favorite Drink?
Coffee specifically the HEB Cafe Ole San Antonio blend


An informal memorial to celebrate his life will be held in Texas in mid May 2024. Further details will be shared with loved ones soon.


In honor of our beloved Nelson, we invite you to donate at to The Alzheimer's Association and/or at to the Animal Defense League. Your generous donation will serve as a meaningful tribute, perpetuating the spirit of Nelson by supporting meaningful causes.

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