With heavy hearts, we share sad news that Vincent Kavaloski, our longtime colleague and professor of Philosophy, died on September 10, 2020 at age 74, having faced serious health challenges for the past several years. Please join us in extending sympathy and prayerful support to his wife, Jane; two daughters; two sons; nine grandchildren; Vince’s four siblings; as well as decades of students, colleagues and all whose lives he touched.
Signs of what was to come were already evident during Vince’s elementary school years, when the voracious reader and thinker began to write a book titled All the Knowledge of the World. Upon earning his bachelor’s degree from Saint Thomas College in St. Paul, Vince earned a doctorate from the University of Chicago. He shared his wisdom and love for learning and life at numerous colleges and universities, the last 25 years as part of the Edgewood College community where he taught the History and Philosophy of Nonviolence, Living the Good Life, the United Nations, and the Philosophy of Gandhi and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Vince was deeply committed to his students and supported their interests in human rights and justice through Amnesty International and United Nations student organizations. For more than 20 years he travelled with students to the U.N. to experience what he called “the most multi-cultural place on earth.” He was also one of the founders and a long-time member of the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, a state-wide higher education consortium dedicated to peace education and peace activism.
In 2013, the Dane County Chapter of the United Nations honored Vince with their Global Citizen Award for his unwavering commitment to peace and nonviolence which took him to the Soviet Union, Poland, Denmark, Czechoslovakia and the Middle East. Concern about the environmental crisis led Vince and Jane to offer study tours to Central America.
The “good life” Vince reflected in response to Plato’s and Socrates’ writings, “is a decent life respectful of justice, honesty, and friendship.” “Death,” he mused, “is like departing a wonderful feast. One departs filled with gratitude and joy for the gifts of beauty, love, and life. The feast of love comes to an end, friends depart, and music fades away. We take our leave at last with overflowing hearts and stride out alone into the night.”
Vincent will be remembered fondly through his poems, parables, and ponderings such as:
There are some few precious things that death cannot destroy,
Lies cannot corrupt, violence cannot defeat, suffering cannot overwhelm, and money cannot buy.
There are, and always have been, some few precious things.
Love, Peace, Kindness, Justice, Understanding
And they save our souls in the infinite waters of Divine love. (V. K.)
A virtual Memorial Celebration of Vincent’s Life will be hosted by the Madison Quaker Community on Saturday, October 17, 2020, at 10:00 a.m.
Memorial for Vince Kavaloski:
Join Zoom Meeting
or Dial in by phone:
+1-646-876-9923 (alternate phone number)
Meeting ID: 865 4451 0538
(Use *6 to mute and unmute yourself)