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Guillermo Calvo, Jr
September 30, 1942 ~ December 11, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
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It is with tremendous sorrow that we say goodbye to a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and true American hero, Guillermo “Gil” Calvo, who left us too early on December 11, 2023, at the age of 81. His life was a testament to courage, dedication to family and friends, and unwavering service to his country and family.
Guillermo was born on September 30, 1942, and answered the call of duty at a young age, serving two tours in Vietnam as a combat helicopter pilot. His valor and commitment earned him the prestigious Bronze Star, a symbol of his bravery and sacrifice in the face of adversity when he faced heavy enemy fire to rescue wounded soldiers and take them to safety.
During his distinguished military career, Gil Calvo earned the high award of Master Army Aviator and served as an Instructor Pilot, teaching and mentoring new pilots, leaving his mark on the next generation of aviators, many who have returned to express their gratitude. He served in Korea, Germany, and several locations in the United States. His last major contribution while in uniform saw Gil once again in the face of danger while attached to the State Department to fly in the Drug Wars in several Central and South American Countries. After nearly 30 years in service to his country he retired as a Chief Warrant Officer-4, leaving behind a legacy of honor and leadership. He was not ready to simply hang up his uniform and begin living a quiet, retired life. He continued to serve his nation as a Department of the Army Civilian, working for Army Aviation with his familiar dedication and providing his aviation expertise. As a civilian, he played a crucial role in procuring and managing parts for the Kiowa Warrior, contributing to the efficiency and success of military flight operations, and helping pilots come home safely after their missions. His exemplary work earned him a nomination for the Ernest A. Young Logistics Achievement Award in the Professional/Technical category given annually to the top performers in Logistics across Army Aviation.
Beyond his exemplary service to his country, Gil was a devoted family man. He shared 62 years of marriage with his beloved wife, Marion, whom he married on November 7, 1961, in their home country, Colombia. Together they built a life filled with love, laughter, and cherished memories. He loved to tell jokes and make the family laugh with delight but had such a tendency to repeat these jokes that they would sigh and tell him the joke number they assigned it before he could finish!
Gil is preceded in death by his father, Guillermo Calvo Escobar, a commercial airline pilot whose legacy inspired Gil to become a pilot for the military, and his mother Elvira Calvo Barajas. He is the loving father of three children, Lucia (Terry) Carlson, Janet (Tim) Monks, and William (Amanda) Calvo. He is also a proud grandfather to six beloved grandchildren, Robert (Jocelyn) Hanson, Ashley (Jamison) Johnson, Andrew Carlson, Catherine (Kai) Bawcom, David Monks, and Alexander Monks, a doting great-grandparent to three great-granddaughters, Violet Hanson, Anastasia Johnson, and Natalie Hanson and his loving sister-in-law, Helen Kennedy. His family was the anchor of his life, and his love for them knew no bounds.
Guillermo had a love for history and for sharing captivating stories of his experiences from his youth and military service. Additionally, he was an avid gun collector, only making a purchase after detailed research which reflected his appreciation for the tools of his trade and the history they represented.
As we mourn the loss of Gil Calvo, we should remember him not only for his extraordinary military service but also for the love and warmth he brought to the lives of those around him. His legacy will endure through the stories he shared, the lessons he imparted, and the steadfast spirit that defined his life.
May his soul rest in eternal peace, and may his memory continue to inspire us all.
Services for Guillermo will be held Wednesday, December 20, 2023, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church 625 Airport Road SW, Huntsville, AL 35802
Visitation will begin at 10:00 AM followed by a mass at 11:00 AM. Guillermo will be buried in Maple Hill Cemetery, 203 Maple Hill Drive Huntsville, AL 35801