Funeral arrangements set for Joe Kaluza - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio


Funeral arrangements set for Joe Kaluza

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Joe Kaluza has died at the age of 49. Kaluza is the Youngstown KFC Manager who was shot and robbed for his bank deposit in 2008.

Now his family is thanking the community that rallied around him for the past seven years.

Through tear-filled eyes his mother Esther Kaluza tells 21 News, "He was strong willed; a fighter."

She remembers the son, whose fighting spirit, and strong will helped him survive an unthinkable act of violence."

"He always had a positive outlook," Esther Kaluza said.

It was March of 2008 when Kaluza, the manager of Youngstown's southside KFC Restaurant was ambushed, shot and robbed for his bank deposit of just over $300.

Kaluza was paralyzed from the neck down, and spent five months in a Cleveland Hospital before coming home to a community that rallied around him with multiple fundraisers. There was even a massive volunteer effort that resulted in building him a new handicap accessible house.

Kaluza died on Thursday afternoon after being taken to the hospital because he was not feeling well.

His family says now more than ever they want to thank the community that stood by him.

Anna Fiitzgerald is Kaluza's sister, "We can't thank the community enough for their support, from day one until the end. He goes to the store and people pay for something. He goes out to eat and they pay for his check. He still gets cards in the mail on a regular basis -- people who have not forgotten him, and he'll make comments like wow, it's been seven years and they still remember me."

The family has released funeral arrangements for Joe Kaluza.

Calling hours will be on Sunday at Fox Funeral Home on Market Street from 2pm until 5pm.

The funeral is scheduled for 11am on Monday at Paradise Church on New Buffalo Road in Canfield.

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