Nicholas Calnin Obituary (2022) – Madison, WI

Nicholas “Nic” McCord Calnin

Dec 18, 1979 – July 13, 2022

Nic Calnin was a man of words – sometimes many, sometimes few. When he chose to share words, it was often late into the night with anyone who would engage. He also didn’t mince words when he employed his “in your face” honesty. But in precious moments alone, Nic was a ponderer/poet, keeping thoughts and words to himself. He delighted in building his vocabulary, debating semantics, working a good crossword puzzle, and telling an occasional joke.

Nic’s love of words grew over his lifetime along with his other loves. Before graduating from South Milwaukee High, he played soccer and basketball with intensity. As a UW-Green Bay graduate, Nic expanded his love of words through his Bachelor of Arts coursework and student stint in the Netherlands. Bowling, bocce, the Brewers and Bucks rounded out his adult list of loves along with music. An aspiring pianist and composer, competent singer, avid listener, Nic filled his life with music. The word “epic” describes his love for movies and disdain for technology.

Words served Nic well in his service industry career. Hely listened attentively to other’s words from behind the bar and spoke respectfully when serving out front. A people person on the job and a stickler for politeness, Nic chose his words carefully, but relished time at home when he didn’t have to talk. Home included Eau Claire, Baraboo, South Milwaukee, Green Bay, Ferndale, Michigan and Madison at various life points – a journey that shaped Nic into the man, friends and family said, was hard working, curious, unique, and true to himself. Nic just said, “I’m content.”

Friends and family meant everything to Nic – parents, Susan and Wolfgang Calnin; sister, Melissa (Calnin) Knieriem, husband Dan and their daughters: Lyla, Sydney, Miley, and Finley; his brother, Brennan Calnin and wife Amanda; and multiple aunts, uncles, and cousins. To them he was a lovable character living in the moment. None of Nic’s treasured words can express how much they will miss him.

Nic left behind a couple of cardboard boxes, one filled with stylish hats, the other overflowing with his legacy of words – scraps of poems hand scrawled or banged out on a manual typewriter. One precious (how about that word Nic?) poem expresses his desire to be a sequoia… “that never wants to fall down, a positive reminder, roots strong to show ya how short life is, just when it feels too long. “

Nic Calnin died of cancer at home. He was 42. A celebration of his life is being planned.

Published by on Jul. 30, 2022.

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