Philip A. Cali



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Philip A. Cali passed away on September 1, 2022.  Anyone who knew Phil will not be surprised that he authored his own obituary.   I was predeceased by my parents, Philip Charles and Concetta Cali.   I am survived by my beloved family: my wife, Carol Ann (Picciano), my son and daughter-in-law , Philip Mark and Klara Cali, my daughter and son-in-law, Dorian and Christopher Simmons, and my cherished grandchildren, Philip Tomas, Aneta Nicole, Alicia Morgan, and Francesca Nicole.   I taught, administrated, volunteered, traveled, and enjoyed the company of good friends.  I lived a full life and leave with no regrets.  To have spent 55 years with Carol was more happiness than one can imagine.  Farewell, my love, and good fortune to my family and friends.   A celebration of Phil’s life will be held at the discretion of the family.  Donations in his memory may be made to Rochester Region Health c/o Hildebrandt Hospice Care Center.  To share a memory or send a condolence, visit


  1. Kristen Brickler on September 1, 2022 at 3:41 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I am thinking about all of you.

  2. Kirstin Coppola on September 1, 2022 at 5:03 pm

    We are deeply sorry for your loss. What a wonderful man. I have very fond memories of spending time with your family, Mr. Cali was always so kind and took care of everyone. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this sad time. Love, Kirstin Coppola & Family

  3. Diane and Bill Donahue on September 1, 2022 at 6:24 pm

    Phil was an unforgettable life force whose memory can never be extinguished. His love of learning and sharing that learning drew people to him, as did his optimism and his indomitable spirit. He provided us with a treasured friendship that enlivened our retirement over many years with wonderful memories. He will be sorely missed. Our hearts go out to Carol and all the family.

  4. Kathi Coletta on September 1, 2022 at 10:40 pm


  5. Melissa Davis on September 2, 2022 at 8:27 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. He was a wonderful man and obviously a very loved man. It was my honor to meet him and all of you if only for a day. May his memories continue to be cherished and may you always feel his love around you.

  6. Traci Wilcox on September 2, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    I am so sorry to hear that Mr. Cali passed. I was a first-year Latin student in 1985 and loved his class. He made learning so fun and interesting. He greeted each student, "Salve discipuli!" He was so full of genuine enthusiasm and had a great sense of humor. He was a wonderful teacher and left you with such inspiration. Please accept my condolences. Truly.

  7. Mary and Kathy Rezeski on September 2, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    Kathy and I are devastated to hear of Phil’s passing. We have many fond memories of attending lyceum classes taught by Phil. We always enjoyed seeing he and Carol at cultural events around town, comparing reviews of movies and plays as well as seeing them on day trips to NYC. Phil was such a force in the community and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Our hearts go out to Carol and the family. We wish you peace at this most difficult time. Mary and Kathy Rezeski

  8. Joseph Bob on September 3, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    Vale et gratias tibi charissime magister! Mr. Cali was exceptional teacher who light up the classroom with personality, piano playing and singing show tunes in Latin! He influenced a great many students and made a true difference at Hornell Senior High! I shall fondly recall 4 years of regents Latin, JCL activities, The Ides of March and of course singing " Salve Pulcra" My condolences to his family and friends on the loss of a great educator, influence and friend.

  9. Elizabeth Kelly-Griswold on September 3, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    My sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of Mr. Cali, my Latin teacher of 3 years at Hornell High School. He was an amazing educator and instilled a passion for history. He had the patience of Job taking bus loads of students to annual JCL conventions! Latin Club was the largest student organization when I was at HHS thanks to Mr Cali! I shall never forget Mr Cali and his dedication in teaching students Latin, invaluable for collegiate classes learning all those scientific names in Latin! Requiescet in Pace! mihi nomen est Liz HHS class of 76

  10. Patty on September 3, 2022 at 9:47 pm

    I was so fortunate to be Mr. Cali’s student for 3 years at Hornell High School in the 1980s. He was an incredible teacher (always a “Latin scholar,” never a “Latin toenail!”) and just an all-around lovely human being. Sending love, peace and gratitude to Mr. Cali’s family.

  11. Bill Kays on September 3, 2022 at 10:23 pm

    Vale Magister. Thank you for the life lessons, Mr Cali and may God bless you. I will keep the Cali family in my prayers.

  12. Joe Aini Jr on September 4, 2022 at 12:57 am

    I’m very saddened to read the news of Phil Cali’s death. I remember my first day in Latin class way back in September 1978 when he went around the class to each student and asked, “Quid est nomen tibi?” The questions and replies — all written in Latin on colored construction paper — encircled the entire classroom! For four amazing years, his teaching (and humor) made the ancient world come alive and I soaked it all in and learned so much! He was an exceptional teacher and wonderful human being. I’m not surprised to read all these amazing tributes. I send my sincere condolences to his wife and children and to his broader family and friends. May you find consolation and peace; gratitude and thanksgiving; hope and faith in the days ahead.

  13. Debbie Morello on September 4, 2022 at 8:28 am

    I met Phil on his many trips to NYC through SUNY Broome. It was beautiful to see the love between Phil and Carol and to witness their delight in attending the theatre. They shared tremendous insights on music and history through Lyceum and with numerous community presentations. Phil was energetic, intelligent, humble, friendly, and kind. My most sincere condolences, love, and prayers to Carol and family…and to the many other individuals who share this loss.

  14. Tony Roselli on September 4, 2022 at 9:58 pm

    I am sorry for your loss. Mr. Cali was by far one of the best educators I had. He was extremely intelligent, a gentleman and had a great sense of humor. He would tell us, "Latin students never die. They just start declining." (A humorous reference to our Latin Word Declining Homework he gave us which for some reason I remember to this day). Vale Magister (Goodbye Teacher). Requiscat In Pace (May you rest in peace). These are just a few of the many Latin Phrases Mr. Cali taught us.

  15. Mark Schneider on September 5, 2022 at 9:00 am

    I was also one of the fortunate students at Hornell High School to take 4 years of Latin in the early 1970’s. And was in awe and forever grateful for Phil’s ability to make Latin enjoyable, relevant, interesting and useful. After a 42 year career I have recently retired but I have retained a position as Adjunct Professor at Brown University. And it is there that I still try to channel Phil. His ability to communicate, entertain, engage and make difficult subject matter accessible. Phil taught Latin, but what we learned was how to engage, how to innovate, how to connect and so many other important life lessons. Vale Magister.

  16. Carol Brugger on September 5, 2022 at 10:14 am

    I am so sad to read of Phil’s passing. I remember my parents singing his praises when he became president of Lyceum because he greeted and took an interest in everyone. They told me about the entertaining classes he and Carol taught. I was pleased when I retired and joined Lyceum to experience these classes for myself. Their classes drew huge numbers and were a lot of fun. Carol, I’m so sorry. Wish you lived closer, sending virtual hugs.

  17. Olwen Searles on September 6, 2022 at 1:18 pm

    Cali family: I am saddened for all of us but especially for you and your family. Phil was someone that was hard to forget and after meeting him, one couldn’t even if they tried. Rick and I are so fortunate that we got to befriend both of you before you left for Rochester. Our hearts are aching for this loss but I’m sure Phil manifested his destiny because he would have it no other way.

  18. Sam and Sandy Ruffo on September 7, 2022 at 6:18 am

    Our sincerest condolences to Carol and loved ones on Phil’s recent death. Phil was a scholar and gentleman always giving to others. He left his mark and the world is a better place for the many contributions he made.

  19. Carol Cali on September 7, 2022 at 11:35 am

    September 7, 2022 Kristen, Thank you so much for your caring sentiments. I’ve lost a husband and a best friend, but I will carry him with me forever in my heart. Fondly, Carol

  20. George Schuster on September 7, 2022 at 11:36 am

    Phil was truly a gentleman and a scholar. One of the highlights of my career at Susquehanna Valley was working with Phil. He embodied all that was good in education at that time. I still remember being impressed with Phil and Carol at a workshop before he even came to work at SV. The list of students he influenced is amazing and he did the same with teachers. Condolences to Carol and family Phil’s memory burns bright

  21. Carol Cali on September 7, 2022 at 11:40 am

    September 7, 2022 Kirsten, Thank you for your condolences. I,too, have very pleasant memories of special times we spent together in Canisteo. Thinking about birthday parties at McDonalds brings a smile to my lips. Fondly, Carol

  22. Carol Cali on September 7, 2022 at 11:46 am

    My Dearest Friends, Thank you for your care and concern. We have many years of memories together, and those will be tucked away in a special place in my heart. Phil was and amazing person, and while he will be missed, he will always be a present in wonderful memories. Fondly, Carol

  23. Carol Cali on September 7, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    September 7, 2022 Kathi and Tony, Thank you for your warm thoughts. Being an only child, Phil had a special affection for his cousins and had very pleasant memories of times you spent together. I can picture the two of you walking to school: the big brother and the little sister. You held a special place in his heart. Love, Carol

  24. Carol Cali on September 7, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    September 7, 2022 Melissa, Thank you for your caring and kindness. You made it possible for Phil to pass on peacefully, and I will always be greatful to you for easing our loss. Carol

  25. Carol Cali on September 7, 2022 at 12:23 pm

    September 7, 2022 Traci, Thank you so much for condolences. Phil loved teaching and the time he spent with his students at Hornell High School. The high regard for him that you express here is much appreciated. Carol

  26. Carol Cali on September 7, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    September 7, 2022 Thank you for your thoughtful words, Kathy and Mary. It was always a pleasure to meet with you and chat about the latest goings on in the arts. Phil shared with you a love of theater: nothing gave him more pleasure than sitting front row center at a good show whether it be drama, dance, or musical. I have many happy memories of being seated right there next to him. Fondly, Carol

  27. Carol Cali on September 7, 2022 at 7:32 pm

    September 7, 2022 Thank you for the kind words with which you expressed condolences on Phil’ passing. I know that he is somewhere weeping with joy for being remembered so fondly. That he could make Latin class fun and enjoyable speaks to his ability as an educator. Carol

  28. Carol Cali on September 7, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    Liz, Your note brought tears to my eyes. Phil so enjoyed working with you and your classmates, and truly he has left a little part of himself within each of you. I know you will never forget him, and that pleases me ever so much. Carol

  29. Carol Cali on September 7, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    September 7, 2022 Patty, Your kind words have touched my heart and I am sure they would have touched Phil’s heart as well. What greater praise could there be for an educator than to be so fondly remembered. Thank you, Carol

  30. Carol Cali on September 7, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    September 7, 2022 Bill, Thank you for your caring thoughts. Phil always spoke so highly of his students; he was so proud of you all. Carol

  31. Carol Cali on September 7, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    September 7, 2022 Joe, Thank you for the lovely memories your words are evoking. These amazing tributes would make him feel so proud and fortunate to have been able to work with such wonderful young people. Carol

  32. Carol Cali on September 7, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    September 7, 2022 Debbie, Thank you for bringing back those fond memories of our bus trips to NYC. It was such a delight to get to know so many people who enjoyed theater as much as we did. We loved those trips, and thank you for your part in setting them up. Carol

  33. Cathie Ayres on September 8, 2022 at 1:57 am

    It was an honor to be part of the faculty that worked with and learned from Phil as our Assistant Superintendent. Always a gentleman, Phil raised the bar of expectations for staff and students through his skillful leadership. As he introduced himself the first day, Phil Cali was “one L of a guy”. Deepest sympathies to Carol and all his family.

  34. Carol Cali on September 8, 2022 at 10:56 am

    Tony, Thank you for your kind words. The memories you shared are a great testament to a man who put his heart and soul into his work with students. It is consoling to know that you hold him in such esteem. Carol

  35. Carol Cali on September 8, 2022 at 11:06 am

    Mark, Thank you for your wonderful tribute to Phil. He would be honored to know that he was such an positive influence in your life. The lessons he taught went beyond the learning of Latin which in itself is still a valuable tool in today’s world. To know that his students came away from his classes with many other important communication skills as well would please him greatly. Carol

  36. Carol Cali on September 8, 2022 at 11:15 am

    Carol, Thank you for your caring words. Lyceum brings back so many happy memories. Our association with Lyceum allowed us the wonderful opportunity to learn so many interesting things and to share some of our own interests with a group of enthusiastic people. Lyceum is a great resource for the people in the Binghamton area. Fondly, Carol

  37. Carol Cali on September 8, 2022 at 11:18 am

    Olwen, Thank you for your kind words of sympathy. It was a pleasure to count you and Rick as members of our circle of friends. Though the time was brief, it was still rich with memories. Carol

  38. Carol Cali on September 8, 2022 at 11:28 am

    Sam and Sandy, Thank you so much for your words of sympathy. And, thank you for being part of the group which originally brought us to Broome County. Phil’s time at SV was the culmination of his career as an educator. As assistant superintendent many talents to positively influence the wonderful teachers with whom he worked. Carol

  39. Carol Cali on September 8, 2022 at 11:32 am

    George, Thank you for your words of sympathy. Phil would be honored by your words of praise and pleased to know that he was a positive influence on you and your colleagues at SV. Carol

  40. Carol Cali on September 8, 2022 at 11:37 am

    Cathie, Thank you for you your sympathic words. I smiled at the reference to "one L of a guy". I had not heard that story before, but am not surprised that he used such a clever introduction. Carol

  41. Ann Marie Barillo on September 8, 2022 at 2:56 pm

    Phil was one of the good guys – always fair, thoughtful and pleasant natured. He was also the epitome of scholarly and professional and had a ready smile. He always answered our language questions. Carol- here’s a virtual hug that I’d much rather deliver to you in person. My condolences to you and your children. Phil said it himself – he had precious loved ones and lived a full life. Well done!

  42. Mari Geisenhof on September 11, 2022 at 9:36 am

    The world has lost a truly great man – so intelligent, clever, creative, kind, compassionate and inspirational. Working with (never FOR) him at Susquehanna Valley, I learned what effective leadership looked like and how to think ‘out of the box’. He always added humor and creativity to meetings, often getting us started with a question like "If you were a kitchen appliance, what would you be and why?" He also had a comedic side, performing "Don’t Worry, Be Happy" at a Spring Revue. Always he found the positive, the unusual, the humorous side to any situation. Phil had a gift for valuing each person and encouraging them professionally, and personally, to take that next step (and I did). Spending time with him and Carol brought us much joy, laughter and memories. Phil made a huge difference wherever he was will be truly missed.

  43. Charles Cesaretti on September 11, 2022 at 11:42 am

    Dear Carol, John joins me in sending sympathy and condolences on the death of Phil. We have been blessed by his friendship. Know that you and your family are in our prayers. We plan to make a contribution to The Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra in honor of Phil and his great contributions to the BPO and the artistic and academic life of our community. Charles Cesaretti and John Reynolds

  44. Jackie Swan on September 12, 2022 at 9:54 am

    With heavy heart and shock really I read of the passing of Mr. Cali. For many years I helped with travel plans and he was a favorite client – always patient, kind, interesting, a true traveler in the best sense. My biggest regret was not attending one of his lectures at the Lyceum (always too busy working). It was an honor to have met him. A lovely GENTLEMAN. My sincere condolences to his family. So very sorry. Sincerely, Jackie

  45. Carol Herz on September 12, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    My sincerest sympathies to you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss. Phil was a very special person to so many, myself included. May his memory be a blessing

  46. Kevin Bartell on September 12, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    Vale, Magister, et te cantent angeli ad requiem tuam. I could go on about his effective (and for some reason all to unrepeatable) effectiveness in the classroom; the I, Claudius Society, letting us "whack" Julius Caesar in the rotunda on the Ides of March, taking time outside class to correct our Latin TV commercials ("Almost Rome" cookies, with the taste that’s fresh from the forum). In a word I never had a better teacher. In pace requiescat!

  47. Janet Denman on September 14, 2022 at 8:31 pm

    I will never, ever forget watching Carol and Phil taking us to WSKG Broadway once a semester for so many years! What a team!! The classes filled so fast and just kept growing. It was nonstop entertainment for two hours. I cannot even imagine how much prep time each class took. What a gift to Lyceum you both were. Your classes were unending happiness, fun, surprises and joy. Thank you so very, very, very much for your abundant gifts of pure entertainment. The love you shared as a couple was always evident.

  48. Mary Ann Wolpert on September 14, 2022 at 8:54 pm

    So sad to hear of the passing of Phil. Carol, you both shared so many wonderful years together. The memories of all those wonderful trips you both took over the years will always be a part of you. Praying for your peace and comfort at this difficult time.

  49. Charlene Thomson on September 20, 2022 at 10:53 am

    I remember Phil’s talented leadership of Lyceum, and his fine classes on Broadway musicals and Latin. He contributed so much to our area while you two lived here. And, Carol, you made a difference in the lives of many children at Maine Memorial School. You and Phil were quite a wonderful team. May your grief lessen over time and May happy memories fill your thoughts. Charlene Thomson

  50. Bill and Leah Gorman on September 21, 2022 at 11:45 am

    A man well loved. A life well lived. Phil brought so much joy to the lives of others. I loved his classes on Broadway musicals. I loved participating, lip synching Some Enchanted Evening to the voice of the great Ezio Pinza. I never sounded better. He created fun. I appreciated all the support you both gave to the "Arts" in Binghamton. It was an honor to have you both in the audience. One of your and Phil’s supportive Letters to the Editors still hangs on our refrigerator. He will be remembered. Leah and I were so sorry and surprised to hear of Phil’s death. Our thoughts are with you. If we could we would thank Phil for all he gave to life. Bill and Leah Gorman

  51. Mark Capobianco on October 1, 2022 at 11:49 am

    Carol and Family, I recently heard the sad news about Phil. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. Phil and I worked together in the 90’s. We both served together on the OIR for the Broome-Tioga BOCES. He was one of the first people to greet me when I joined that group and served as both a mentor and role model. He was well respected for his thoughtfulness, his demeanor and his respect for everyone with whom he worked. Although we lost touch after he retired, I always had fond and warm memories of our time working together. He was the best of us. I am saddened to hear of his passing.

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