Katalin Kallay, 85 of Valparaiso, a well-known violinist and teacher in the area died on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.  She was born January 3, 1937 in Budapest, Hungary. As a small child, she experienced the horrors of WWII, survived the Siege of Budapest, the complete destruction of her home, the oppression of Soviet occupation, and deportation by the Communist regime. In their constant effort to suppress any semblance or suspicion of resistance and maintain absolute control, the regime forcibly removed tens of thousands of Hungarian citizens from their homes. Machine gun equipped guards transported these people, declared to be “class enemies”, to remote eastern corners of Hungary with the ultimate destination to be Siberia. These were intellectuals, former land and property owners, professional people, members of the former military elite, and the aristocracy. Such “class enemies” were declared to be not members of the “socialist working order” and needed to be eliminated. Katalin and her family were among these deported people and were guarded, deprived of any livelihood or income, and anyone attempting to contact with them placed himself in mortal danger.
The death of Stalin brought some changes in government policy. Then the 1956 Hungarian Revolution happened, the mines were dug up along the border with Austria, and Katalin with her parents and the many thousands of other persecuted Hungarians made their way to the West. The family settled in Italy where Katalin was able to continue her violin studies begun in Budapest. After obtaining a M. Mus. Degree at the famed S. Cecilia Music Conservatory in Rome, she married Dr. Ferencz P. Kallay, Professor of Geography at Valparaiso University, and together they established their home in Valparaiso. Some years later she earned a M.A. in Modern Foreign Languages from Notre Dame University and taught German and English in the Michigan City Area Schools high schools for many years. Following her husband’s death, she returned to the violin and for decades played professionally with the Southwest Michigan Symphony, the LaPorte Symphony, the Whiting Festival Orchestra and some others. She had many private students in her studio and played for many years in the String Quartet Conferences of the Manhattan String Quartet. Her own string quartet was not only a private joy but also performed in various venues for the more than 15 years of its existence. In her later years, she resumed playing bridge with friends and spent many wonderful afternoons playing the game.
Katalin always felt she had an extraordinary life, touched directly by the events of history. It was a complete, rewarding, albeit often challenging life rich with contentment, joy, and accomplishments. She leaves behind two children, four grandchildren, many friends, colleagues, as well as relatives and special friends in Budapest.
Cremation and private interment were held.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email