Ellen Marek Kalal

February 4th, 1930January 30th, 2020

Ellen Marek Kalal was born February 4, 1930 in Crete, Nebraska. She died January 30, 2020 after a long struggle with dementia. Ellen was the third child and only daughter of Paul and Gladys Marek. She lived in Crete most of her early life, spending a few years in Cattaraugus, NY. Ellen graduated from Doane College in 1952. She taught physical education and English in Beatrice, Nebraska, and Westminster, Colorado.            

On August 31, 1957, she married Leonard Kalal, whom she had met through the Mountain Rec Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  She continued teaching until she decided to stay home to raise her four children.

Ellen was an active member of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Boulder, acting as a eucharistic minister, lector, a member of the altar and rosary society, and RCIA leader.

She enjoyed a Sunday drive, being outdoors in the mountains, and swimming. She remained physically active, winning her age division in the Bolder Boulder in 2006. Ellen was an avid reader and sports fan. She loved a good conversation and a heated political debate.

Ellen especially loved to travel. After numerous raucous family car-camping trips, she was finally able to expand her travels to New York City, San Diego, Hawaii, Prague, Greece, Italy, Peru, and Australia.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Leonard in 1996, and her brother Leo and sister-in-law Beverly Marek.

Ellen is survived by her brother Don (Sharon) Marek; her children Mark (Marla) Kalal, Paula (Lance) Wurst, Ann (Brad) Sather, and Ellen (Burton) Fox; six grandchildren: Sally (Josh) McCallum, Katy (Jon) Bradley, Sarah (Nathan) Holst, JoAnna Wurst, Barrett (Lauren) Sather, and Whitney Sather; three great-grandchildren: Marcus and Aurelia McCallum and Sage Holst; and many friends and relatives.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Dignity Hospice.




A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, June 20th at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Boulder, Colorado. 






Sacred Heart of Jesus Church | Map


Hey everybody! Very sorry to hear about your mom. I have very good memories of her from when you guys would visit your grandparents in Crete. Ironically, one of my best friends lives there now. The house still looks really good. When we're young, we aren't aware of what's really important. I just want you to know that my memories of your family are some of the best of my life. Thinking of you. Scott Kuncl