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Obituary

On July 16, 2020, after a lifetime of dedicated service to his family, his community and his God, Dennis Anthony Calabrese, 77 years old, of St. Michaels, Arizona lost his battle with COVID-19 and was welcomed home by His Savior. He was the husband of Anne (Wilson) Calabrese with whom he celebrated 27 years of marriage in early July.

Dennis was born April 24, 1943 in Lorain, Ohio to the late Joseph and Victoria (Thomas) Calabrese. He graduated from Lorain High School, completed his Bachelor’s Degree at Cal State Northridge and earned his Masters Degree from Northern Arizona State University.

A major turning point in his life was his move to the Navajo Nation from California in 1974, where he served as a pastor and missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ for over forty-five years. Dennis was also a devoted educator with a great love for his students and teaching. As a teacher, he cared greatly for his students and positively impacted countless lives before retiring with over 35 years of service in the Window Rock Elementary School District.

Deeply loved by his family, Dennis was known for his beautiful tenor voice, excellent ping pong skills, and tremendous kindness and mercy. He had a gentle word and a listening ear for all who knew him and was ever ready to drop one of his corny puns into the conversation.

Survivors include his wife Anne, daughter Kimberly Honda and husband Dean of Kamuela, HI, son Cameron Calabrese and wife Melanie of Chandler, AZ, step-son Ryan Wilson of Ft. Defiance, AZ, daughter Kaila Calabrese of Albuquerque, NM; 7 grandchildren, Malia, Jakob, Noah, Madeline, Brooke, Sanaya and Makoda; sisters Bonnie Smith and husband Isaac of Pinetop, AZ, Cheryl Smith and husband Harry of Pinetop, AZ, Candace Genaro and husband Peter of Huntersville, North Carolina and brother Joel Calabrese and wife Edna of Ashland, Ohio as well as numerous beloved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial contributions be made to Eagle Wings Community Greenhouse online at https://app.easytithe.com/app/giving/eaglewings. Even though the project is still in its infancy, once it is up and running the Community Greenhouse will be designed to provide high tech, high yield solutions to food insecurity issues on the Navajo Nation.