Our Loving Father

Ambrose Calcagno Jr
Date Of Birth: February 6, 1937
Date of Death: October 16, 2022

Ambrose was born to Ambrose Calcagno Sr. and Rose Boitano in Portland. He was a student at St Peter’s Catholic Grade School and then transferred to Ben’s Mead Grade School in the Lents District. He attended Benson High School and graduated in 1956. Ambrose was a devout Catholic and a very active member of St Thomas More Catholic Church for over 54 years. He helped organize and participated in numerous fundraising and church clean-up activities such as Casino nights, Spaghetti Dinners, Piccadilly Fairs, Bingo Nights and the annual flower sale. Ambrose cared deeply about the less fortunate among us and supported homeless organizations through donations of food, and in some instances, provided anonymous financial support.

Ambrose began working in the family garbage business at the age of 15 years old. He grew the family business to be very successful in Washington, Columbia and Tillamook Counties. He was a member of the Oregon Sanitary Service Institute (OSSI).

In 1955, Ambrose, along with several other business men and local farmers, became a founding member of Club Paesano in Gresham, OR.

Ambrose met his future wife Virginia Cavallero at a wedding of a friend. They wed a few years later on February 9, 1963 and were married for 59 years. Together they had four children; Debra, Leslie, Ambrose Christopher, and Duane. Ambrose was a hard working man and instilled this work ethic in his family. He enjoyed going on family vacations to Seaside, Las Vegas and Disneyland.

Ambrose also enjoyed his three grandchildren; Ambrose Christopher Calcagno (ACE), Patrick and Maddalene Guthrie. A kid at heart, “The Big Guy,” as Ambrose was known by his grandchildren, provided countless hours of support and entertainment from their earliest years, through college.

Ambrose is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Virginia: Children Debra (Todd) Guthrie, Leslie, Ambrose Christopher and Duane; his three grandchildren, Ambrose (Ace), Patrick and Maddalene Guthrie. A rosary will be recited at 10:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 29, 2022 at St Thomas More Catholic Church in the West Hills of Portland. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to St Thomas More in Ambrose’s memory.

12 Responses to “Our Loving Father”

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  1. John Burton, Jr. says:

    An amazing soul. Thank you for continuing to be in our hearts!

  2. Charles Heil says:

    Ambrose was one of my best friends in high school. We called him the “G Man”. He played a mean accordion. He always seemed to have a new car, in which he would take a few of us on trips to Oregon spots like Seaside. I remember hanging out at his home as we prepared to attend Benson activities. His parents were very hospitable. This obituary is a tribute to his sweet spirit and testifies to all that Ambrose was always a caring and gracious person. I’m so sad that we weren’t able to maintain our friendship into our adult lives, and I pray with thanksgiving to God for his family and for the blessing of having known him..

  3. Charles Heil says:

    …and he had a tremendous sense of humor!

  4. Frank L Olson says:

    Ambrose and I were voted “Most Talented” at Benson High School in 1956. I was into theater at that time,
    Ambrose with his accordion. I am sorry I lost contact with him after school. The class was not able to make contact and we did not see him at any reunions. Our class of 1956 still has annual picnics and we would have loved for him to be part of us. It sounds like he had a wonderful life and leaves a great legacy to be remembered.

  5. Kate Chester says:

    Blessings and love to your collective family — look forward to celebrating Ambrose’s life and contributions this weekend.

    Kate Chester

  6. Andy Moriarty says:

    I always remember him having a smile on at family picnics. Ambrose is a wonderful example of a life well lived and someone who shared god’s blessings with those around him. He will be missed by all.

  7. Paul Linnman says:

    Ambrose Jr. must have been much like his father when it comes to being a very nice, good person. I never met him, but just seeing his name in the obituaries reminded me of his father, who used to provide garbage service where I grew up in the Vermont Hills neighborhood. From my earliest years, I remember Ambrose Sr. as a wonderful person, who always had a great smile and the kindest words for me. I know my mom and dad felt the same. Reading about Ambrose Jr., and his lifetime of giving brought back great memories of his dad. My sincere condolences the Calcagno family.

  8. Laurie Duyck Crop says:

    Some of my best high school memories are of time spent with Calcagno family…Ambrose also greeted me, “how ya doing kid? And how’s the cows?” A reference to my being a dairy farmers daughter. I loved his childlike glee at anything fun, his open generous and loving spirit. He will be missed, but I think he is probably organizing a get together in heaven my prayers to the whole family, and thank you for all the times you let me into your family time over the years. God bless and comfort your hearts .

  9. Sara Ferandelli says:

    Weddings, picnics, funerals…. Upon arrival, Ambrose always seemed to be the first person I noticed. Then next… came “the hug”. He really embodied the spirit of FAMILY….and we are certainly blessed that he was in ours. Rest in Peace, Cousin Ambrose.

  10. dan saltzman says:

    I enjoyed working for Ambrose as a consultant and government relations guy for the Forest Grove Transfer Station in the 90s. A genuine nice guy and longtime political supporter of me. God bless you and your family and thank you for your friendship.

  11. Janet Higby says:

    Thirty years ago, Ambrose helped me in a time of need. I have never forgotten, and will always be grateful for his kindness and generosity. My condolences to the Calcagno family

  12. James Woodle says:

    I first met Ambrose in the early 1950’s when he would work for his Father’s Collection Service in our Neighborhood of Glencullen OR. Then in 1952 we entered Benson together, and maintained friendship until graduation in 1956, when I entered the U.S.Coast Guard. My Parents would continue sharing communications between us for a number of years. Remember well his “mean” accordion and High Octane Personality.

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