GUAM BUSINESSMAN, SENATOR CALVO DIES

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By Steve Limtiaco

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, September 16) – Businessman and former Guam Sen. Edward M. Calvo died yesterday at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., at the age of 68, after a long illness.

Gov. Felix Camacho yesterday proclaimed a state of mourning for the island, and all flags are to be flown at half-staff until Calvo is laid to rest.

Edward M. Calvo died of cancer, his grandson, Edward J. Calvo, said yesterday.

"In his last days, he was happy to know that everyone was around -- the family was with him," his grandson said.

Edward M. Calvo and his two brothers, former Gov. Paul M. Calvo and Thomas J. "Jerry" Calvo, helped develop a family-owned business empire that started with Calvo's Insurance, which was created by their father, Eduardo T. Calvo, in 1938.

Edward M. Calvo was in charge of Pay-Less Markets and Calvo's Insurance. His brothers ran Pacific Construction Company and Mid-Pacific Liquor Distributing.

Edward M. Calvo most recently was vice president of Calvo Enterprises, chairman of the board of Calvo's Insurance and president of EC Development.

"He's a fine gentleman. He'll be highly missed by an awful lot of people on this island. He was one of the best friends I ever had," said fellow Guam business pioneer Ken Jones. "He's the kind of a friend that you can't replace."

Jones said he has known Edward M. Calvo since the 1940s.

"I knew his father very well when I came back out here after World War II in 1946. I met his father and got to know (Edward) very well. Ed and the boys were just in their knee-pants when I came back out here," Jones said. "As Eddie and the boys grew up I got to know them very well and became good friends. Eddie's my youngest daughter's godfather."

Jones said he and Edward M. Calvo called each other "Cherokee" because of a song they heard on the radio while working to develop a hotel in Saipan.

The song is about a wagon that is being chased and gradually loses its wheels. Jones said they would greet each other and ask how many wheels were on their wagons. The more wheels, the better they were doing. "If you had one wheel on your wagon, things weren't going so great," he said. "Now, we have no wheels on our wagon."

According to Pacific Daily News files, Edward M. Calvo described himself as a family man who enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren. He described himself as an excellent pool player who also enjoyed swimming and playing "Pelota," a Philippine version of racquetball.

Edward M. Calvo was a Republican senator in the 14th Guam Legislature, and Speaker Ben Pangelinan, D-Barrigada, said Calvo's contributions to the community extended beyond public office.

"Mr. Calvo, even after leaving office, was always willing to continue to serve the people of Guam in any capacity," including serving on the Guam Telephone Authority board and the Guam Election Commission board, Pangelinan said.

"He didn't have to do these things, but he felt that service in this capacity, on behalf of the people of Guam, is something that is a privilege and an honor. He served honorably," Pangelinan said.

Camacho yesterday referred to Edward M. Calvo as a true entrepreneur and a leader in every sense of the word. "His contributions to our community are too numerous to be named, and our island will not be the same without him," Camacho said. "Former Sen. Eddie Calvo was a role model and inspiration to our generation who by example proved that we can be successful in this modern world. His spirit and passion for the people of Guam will be missed by all. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family."

Former Rev and Tax Director Joaquin Blaz said Edward M. Calvo hired him to work at Calvo's Enterprises in 1996. "He certainly was a tremendous influence in the Calvo organization. He helped to bring it to where it is today. It's almost a conglomerate," Blaz said yesterday. "He was a very reputable businessman, to be sure. ... I'm deeply saddened by his loss."

Former government budget Director Joe Rivera, who also works for Calvo's, said, "He was one of the pioneers in the business community. He's a great man. He's a great boss. He's a great friend, and I'm going to miss him dearly."

September 16, 2004

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

 

 

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