Former Berkshire Life VP dies at 70

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DALTON -- David Kalib, who served as Berkshire Life’s senior vice president and general counsel until his retirement in 2007, died on Monday at the age of 70.

"This is a very sad day -- it’s very tragic for everyone, learning about his passing," said Joan Bancroft, the former Berkshire Life CEO who worked with Kalib through the majority of his 30 years in the company. "He really did try to do the right thing by everyone, including our policy holders."

Formerly a state assistant attorney general for the state of Vermont who once argued a case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, Kalib moved to the Berkshires in 1976, where he was originally hired as associate counsel for Berkshire Life. Along with his wife Barbara, their family expanded in Pittsfield, with daughters Juliet and Susan.

"Something my father always told me in terms of practicing law was that you always do what you know is the right thing, and you don’t do what you don’t feel comfortable doing," said Juliet, who currently works as a lawyer in New York. "He basically said that in one version or another my entire life ... those were good words to live by."

Kalib served on a variety of local boards, including as general campaign manager of the United Way of the Berkshires, as president of Temple Anshe Amunim in Pittsfield as well as the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires.

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"He’s been a tremendous donor and he’s been a tremendous supporter and we’re just so sad that that was cut short," said Kristine Hazzard of the Berkshire United Way. "He’s left his fingerprints all over Berkshire United Way."

A food enthusiast, a consummate hiker and a diehard member of the Red Sox nation, Kalib traveled across the world for his employer, all while seeking new hidden culinary gems. Upon his retirement in 2007, Berkshire Life dedicated their legal library in Kalib’s honor.

Friends described Kalib as a man who was able to help friends in need, whether it was raising funds for the United Way or helping a friend get a hotel room during a busy weekend in Chicago.

"He was a very direct kind of guy -- he spoke what was on his mind, if you knew him you’d understand that," said Marshall Razer, who served with Kalib at the Rotary, among other groups. "He got very involved, and when he took on something, he went all the way with it -- he ran with that ball as far as he could go with it."

Juliet agreed. "He was involved in all these organizations -- he wasn’t looking for the glory of it all, but he believed in being involved in your community and participating," she said. "He did it for the right reasons -- he did it because he liked meeting people."

Temple Anshe Amunim will hold a funeral service for Kalib at 1 p.m. on Thursday. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Temple Anshe Amunim Happy Day Fund or the Berkshrie Athenaeum.


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