Kalman Nagy Lehoczky
January 25, 2024
Kalman Nagy Lehoczky passed away on Wednesday, December 27, 2023, at home and surrounded by his family. He was born in Budapest, Hungary, on June 18th, 1932. His parents were Kalman Nagy and Mária Nagy (maiden name Lehoczky).
As an only child, he enjoyed his parents' undivided attention. This was reflected in their efforts to expose him to the visual arts, music, sciences and languages in the home from an early age.
Kalman was 12 years old when he experienced first-hand the Soviet-German frontline rolling through Budapest during WWII. In the later years, he willingly shared many stories of the events transpiring in those days, and of the perseverance and creativity with which his family managed to survive the war.
In spite of the fact that he and his family were not members of the communist party, he was able to complete both high school and university in Budapest. He earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree, and then continued on to earn an advanced degree in engineering.
Kalman had an exceptional drive to learn. He taught himself German, French and English in secrecy, as it was prohibited to learn Western European languages during communism. He also read forbidden western literature extensively, and communicated with western companies to learn and compare engineering methods.
Communism during the Soviet occupation became increasingly oppressive. The Hungarian uprising against the communist government in 1956 provided him the opportunity to launch a daring escape through the Iron Curtain. He was initially part of a group of 13, but the others were captured and only he managed to cross the border into Austria. After a few weeks in a refugee camp for Hungarian escapees, he accepted an invitation to settle in Norway.
Shortly after settling in Norway, Kalman met his wife, Melinda, on a visit to England. She was also a Hungarian refugee and was studying at the University in London. They married, and their daughter and son were later born in Oslo, Norway.
When Kalman first arrived in Norway, he was told he had 6 months to teach himself Norwegian in order to keep the electro-mechanical engineering position he was offered. He did meet this requirement and then some, as he worked his way up to Chief Designer, leading the large machine department within the company. He later changed direction and
accepted a position teaching engineering at the College of Technology in Oslo.
In 1982, an offer from the Siemens Co. in the US was too hard to refuse, and Kalman moved his family to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Two years later he moved with this company to Florida, and a short time after that he started his own engineering firm.
Kalman's work encompassed a large spectrum of engineering projects, particularly related to hydroelectric power generation. In the process, he became familiar with hydroelectric power stations all over the world. Throughout the 69 years he worked as an engineer, he created innovative engineering solutions which resulted in more than 50 patents. He also wrote an engineering textbook which is used as a reference at the university in Oslo to this day.
Kalman was a life-long learner and creator. In addition to engineering, he was fascinated by astronomy, history and genealogy. He did extensive historical research and traced his family back for hundreds of years. All this formed the basis for the historical novel he wrote a few years ago.
Kalman lived in Florida for nearly 40 years, until the death of his wife. He then spent his last 4 years in Rock Spring with his daughter and son-in-law. During these years, he continued to work as a consultant, and he finished his memoirs shortly before he passed.
Kalman was a renaissance man and a true gentleman. He had unlimited patience and kindness. He will be greatly missed.
Kalman is survived by his daughter, Dorothy Lehoczky Harton, and son-in-law Steve of Rock Springs; grandchildren Gergely Harton and wife Blair of Ankara, Turkey, Audrey Vasa and husband Kolby of Rock Springs, Simon Harton and wife Carolyn Nuyen of Denver, Marcy Harton and husband Alec Lever of Jackson, and Boglárka Lehoczky of Budapest, Hungary; great-granddaughters Ivy Katarina Harton, Arabella Iris Harton, and Charlotte Nellie Vasa. He was preceded in death by his wife, Melinda Antonia Lehoczky, and his son, Andreas Nagy Lehoczky.
Cremation has taken place; Private Family Services will be conducted at a later date.
Condolences may be left at http://www.vasefuneralhomes.com.