Monsignor Cal Stalter, 93, a third career vocation who served the Diocese of Amarillo as a priest for 24 years, passed away Monday, August 6, 2018.
A vigil will be held at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, August 9, 2018 at St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral, 1200 S. Washington St. Funeral mass will be celebrated at 2:00 p.m., Friday, August 10, 2018 at the church. Interment will follow in Memory Gardens Cemetery. Arrangements are by Schooler Funeral Home, 4100 S. Georgia St.
Daniel Calvin Stalter was born Nov. 16, 1924 in a farmhouse in Paulding Co, Ohio, the son of Lester Stalter and Cleo Stella Potts Stalter, and raised on another farm in Flanagan, Ill., south of Chicago. Growing up, he attended the Methodist Church after being baptized by a woman minister. In 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy as an aviation cadet and stayed in the service six years.
After leaving the service he married Mary Catherine Husler and studied in Chicago to be a radio and television engineer, announcer and program director. He later worked in television and radio stations in his wife’s hometown of St. Louis. It was in St. Louis that his wife and seven children helped him convert to Catholicism.
“I had a lot of help in converting from several priests in the St. Louis archdiocese, plus several Jesuit priests at St. Stanislaus Seminary,” he said in a 1994 interview with The West Texas Catholic. “The Jesuits were instrumental in getting me to attend their retreats for at least 10 years at their ‘White House’ Retreat Center.”
Stalter left the radio and television industry in 1959 and sold insurance for Prudential Insurance, where he worked for 28 years as a charter life underwriter until his retirement in 1987. Due to his wife’s asthma problems, the family asked for and received a transfer to Amarillo in 1972.
In 1980, Stalter became a reserve deputy sheriff for Potter County and went to work fulltime as a Catholic chaplain at the Correction Center in 1987, following his retirement from Prudential. In 1984, he began studies for the Permanent Diaconate and was ordained in July 1988 at St. Mary’s Church (now St. Mary’s Cathedral), Amarillo by then-Bishop Leroy T. Matthiesen.
On Feb. 16, 1992, his wife of 46 years, Mary Catherine, who had been named Texas Mother of the year in 1990, died. Four months later, Bishop Matthiesen gave Deacon Stalter the go-ahead to study for the priesthood, a task Deacon Stalter took up on his free time for two years.
He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Matthiesen at St. Mary’s Church (now St. Mary’s Cathedral), Amarillo, on April 23, 1994 and celebrated his first Mass the following day, also at St. Mary’s.
His assignments in the Diocese of Amarillo included St. Patrick’s Church, Shamrock; Our Mother of Mercy Church, Wellington; St. Theresa’s Church, Panhandle; and, St. Mary’s Church, Amarillo. He was named a Prelate of Honor with the title of Monsignor in 2001 by Pope John Paul II.
He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary Catherine Stalter; 2 daughters, Virginia Faye Schnetiler and Alice Marie Stalter; 2 brothers, Donald Stalter and Roy Stalter; and 1 grandson, Donald Hutton.
Calvin is survived by2 daughters, Mary Ann Stalter of St. Louis, M.O., and Susan Ashley of Amarillo; 3 sons, Daniel Calvin Stalter of Hungary, Budapest, William Stalter of M.O., and James Roy Stalter of Amarillo; and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great great-grandchildren.