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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Robert C. Kallmer Nov. 11, 1939 - Apr. 16, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Robert (Bob) was born in Storm Lake, to Floyd F. and Edith L. Kallmer. In 1958, he graduated from St. Mary's High School in Storm Lake. After graduation, Bob attended Loras College in Dubuque, for two years, then he spent his third year of college in Germany at the University of Saarbrucken. This experience probably encouraged his sense of adventure and desire for travel. Upon returning, he graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. and a German major in 1962. This led to an opportunity to teach English in Germany which he did during the '63 '64 school year in Augsburg, Bavaria. Following the school year, he spent six weeks touring Germany and Sweden, covering 1,800 miles on a bicycle. In Sweden, Bob met his mother's relatives, and during his time there, he learned to speak and read Swedish at a respectable level. Bob then returned to the University of Iowa for the '64 -'65 school year intending to obtain a Masters Degree in German. Before the end of that year, he became restless and decided to apply for a Peace Corps assignment. Following the school year, Bob went to New York City and interviewed with IBM. He was hired. After several months and one promotion, he surprised his boss and co-workers by accepting the Peace Corps assignment. He was destined to be a world traveler rather than a computer engineer or corporate executive. He was assigned to a small city in Iran and there he taught English to high school students. During his two years in Iran, he learned to speak the country's primary language, Persian (Farsi). After a period of travel with friends, Bob worked for two years in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia where he taught in an engineering college. He left Saudi Arabia in 1969 for an extensive period of travel. During this time Bob, his Peace Corps friends, Dick Thompson of Roland, Iowa, and an Englishman traveled through India, Pakistan, the Mid-East and parts of Africa. Bob and his friends followed, mostly by boat or barge, the Nile River from its headwaters in Lake Victoria to its mouth on the Mediterranean coast at Alexandria, Egypt. On this trip, he passed through Sudan, visited Luxor and the ruins of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes before ending his adventure in Alexandria. Later, Bob completed a second stint in the Peace Corps in a small city in northwestern India. As he usually did, he immersed himself in the history, culture, and language. Bob also taught English in the Sultanate of Oman for a year or two. Starting in the late 1970s, Bob lived and taught in Thailand. He worked at two different locations for programs funded by American charitable organizations teaching English and "survival" skills to Vietnamese and other refugees who were bound for America. Bob was an athletic type who was proud of the fact that, in the late '80s, he ran several 26 mile marathons in Thailand. Unfortunately, however, in the early 1990s he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. In spite of his determination to continue as before, his physical abilities gradually declined. During the past 8 or 10 years, Bob would live in Thailand during the winter, and during the warm Iowa months, he lived in Storm Lake. Bob died in a Bangkok, Thailand, hospital on April 16, 2010. He is preceded in death by his parents. Bob is survived by his wife, Fa, Luke Kallmer; his beloved step-mother, Dorcas Kallmer of Storm Lake; brother, Jim Kallmer (Diana) of Seattle, Wash.; nephews Jonathan (Dylana) Kallmer and Brent Kallmer both of Washington D.C.; brother Bill Kallmer (LaDon) of Omaha, Neb.; niece, Cherlyn Humburg (Brent) of Acworth, Ga. and nephew Tim Kallmer (Sunny) of Austin, TX.

The family recommends that memorial donations be made to the American Parkinson's Disease Association.