East Texas coach dies from Easter Sunday storm

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UPSHUR COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – During storms on the eve of Easter Sunday, one man died when a tree fell on him in his driveway, according to Clarksville City VFDChief, Derek Zivney.

Kelly ‘Bear’ Kalinec, 60, was a teacher and coach at Linden-Kildare CISD.

According to the district’s website, he was a graduate of Chapel Hill High School, has been married to his wife Helen since 2001, and has a son Clint.

His biography says that he had a passion for working with and helping kids.

Through his influence of teaching, he taught at Azleway Boys Ranch in Big Sandy. There he helped build a charter school from a one-room to several teachers and vocational classes for at-risk boys.

Before Azleway, he worked at Meadow Pines Hospital in a residential treatment facility under Longview ISD. Kalinec taught multiple subjects and special education for grades 3-12.

Along with helping special needs children, he coached high school football, baseball, and softball.

Below is a post by one of Kalinec’s players on the impact he made.

Many of my classmates would agree that this guy to my left in the photo was the funniest teacher/coach we ever had at RHS! His baseball players would agree that he was funny and made playing the game of baseball fun but demanded respect, class, character, and integrity from us all day every day.

He taught me and others that the ONLY time life would ever be “fair” was between the foul lines of the baseball field and even then there would always be adversity to deal with and how we responded to that adversity dictated how we could be successful in making the next play or not! As teenage athletes, so much of what we learn about the game of life is through mentorship from coaches and teachers alike. That mentorship evolves into lasting friendships!

Kelly Kalinec, thank you for your friendship and guidance. I respected you first as a man! Being one of my coaches was just an added bonus! You were the real deal!! RIP

Jeff Johnson, Facebook post
(Photo Credits: Jeff Johnson)

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