George Kalil, President of Kalil Bottling Co., passed away peacefully Wednesday, July 10, 2019, at his home in Tucson. He was born January 29, 1938, in LaGrange, GA, and moved to Tucson in 1944.
After attending Sacred Heart, Salpointe, and Tucson High, George attended the University of Arizona where he was often the unofficial matchmaker for couples at the Newman Catholic Student Center.
George was a simple man whose life revolved around his family and friends, his work, and UA Wildcat basketball. He traveled with the team for many years and treasured the official NCAA Championship ring given him when the CATS won the National Championship in 1997.
He was generous, unpretentious, and dedicated to his community, donating his time and resources whenever he saw the need. His many accolades in the business and professional world were a tribute to his keen sense of keeping up with the fast-paced beverage industry, although he still used a small flip phone and could add figures on paper faster than those with a calculator.
George made it a point to check in on his nephews and nieces and their families, along with his Godchildren, on a regular basis. He took a personal interest in each of their lives, quite an accomplishment, because at last count they numbered over 75. He was also a bit of a father figure to many players on Wildcat basketball teams. They began calling him "Super K," because no matter how George was feeling on any particular day, when asked how he was, George always replied, "Super!"
His philanthropic endeavors have been documented often, as well as his love of basketball. But what was well known and perhaps never documented was the beautiful, generous, and kind human being that George was. He lived life simply and loved grandly.
George was predeceased by his father and mother, Fred and Josephine Kalil. He leaves behind his six siblings: Frank Kalil; Barbara McDermott (Louis) of Vallejo, CA; Gloria Zlaket (Tom); Freddie Schutten (Terry) of Placerville, CA; John of Phoenix; and Betty Kalil Knott (Mike, deceased). He is also survived by nieces and nephews: Jo Hartman (Todd); Fred Kalil; Karen Callan (Kelly); Louis McDermott, Jr. (Michele); Joann L'Ecuyer; Cindy Cole; Tom Zlaket, Jr.(Toni); Mike Zlaket (Dianna), Patti Zlaket (Joe Longo); Lori Petzen (Nick); Julie Madrone (Alexis); Stacy Guisse (Maki); Mark Schutten (Vicky); John C. Kalil (Alison); Nick Kalil (Kaitlyn); Kaley Slattery (Dave); Mike Kalil (Anjenet); and John Knott. Numerous great and great-great nieces and nephews, as well as several Godchildren, also survive.
A special thanks to Dale, Rosemary, Chris, and Brent, along with the employees of Kalil Bottling Co. and the numerous Wildcat players George cheered on from behind the bench for so many years, all of whom George considered to be a part of his extended family.
A viewing will be held at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 1946 E. Lee, Tucson, AZ., beginning at 9:15 a.m on Thursday, July 18, followed by Mass at 10:30 a.m. celebrated by Msgr. Al Schifano. Burial will follow at Holy Hope Cemetery. Rest in peace, George. We love you.