Obituary: Charles Calef March 18, 1947 – May 16, 2021

Charles Calef died at home in Los Alamos on May 16, 2021 from cholangiocarcinoma. Chuck was always in motion. He excelled at rock climbing, cross-country skiing, back packing, swimming, and bicycle riding.  A good day for him included as many activities as possible.  Inspired by the beauty of nature, Chuck loved to make beautiful things. He painted watercolor landscapes that expressively captured his view of the world. He built fine wood furniture, baked sourdough bread, and played the piano. Never complacent, he was always curious to learn new things and to improve his skills. He had many friends who joined in his adventures.  He was a good storyteller and quick to joke. 

Chuck was born on March 18, 1947 in Chicago, the son of Beulah and Wesley Calef. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in biology and received a PhD in geology from Oxford University. He lived in New York and Texas before settling in Los Alamos in 1989. He researched the integrated environmental impacts of the U.S. energy system at Brookhaven National Laboratory, explored for oil in the Permian Basin, and worked at the HIV Database at LANL before taking early retirement to focus on his numerous hobbies. 

Chuck is survived by his wife of 49 years, Barbara, son Brandoch (Danielle), daughter Rachel, granddaughters Ellen and Francesca, and brothers George and Dan.  Not one to wallow in sorrow, Chuck wanted his family and friends to remember him while outside exploring the wide world. 

A celebration of his life will be announced at a later date.  Donations in Chuck’s memory may be made to the Southwest Nordic Ski Club, P.O. Box 1556, Los Alamos, NM 87544 or electronically at