Maybe it wasn't just a coincidence that Howard D. Kalleward was born the same year KZCF was established. In hindsight, it makes perfect sense. Thirty-six years after he retired as executive director of KZCF, we now cherish Howard’s memory and legacy.

Howard D. Kalleward

Howard was born in Kalamazoo, graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School and served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. The 20-year-old veteran attended Parsons Business School and University of Toledo before joining The Upjohn Company in 1948. For 19 years, he held a variety of administrative and then executive positions, working his way up in the Insurance Department and then with the Legal Division. His duties offered his first taste of philanthropy, being responsible for product donations.

As KZCF grew during its first three decades and trustees began meeting in the Upjohn Building, Howard took over for Harold Allen, the organization’s former secretary. His title was later changed to executive director.

For the 20 years Howard served as executive director of KZCF, he increased relationships with donors and nonprofits. Highlights of his tenure include moving KZCF from the Upjohn Building to the Industrial State Bank Building in downtown Kalamazoo (now the Comerica Building) in 1973 and assisting with the establishment of the Council of Michigan Foundations. Howard also mentored his successor, Jack Hopkins, who took over in 1987.

Following his retirement, Howard was a member of KZCF's Emeritus Council. He was also a trustee emeritus of the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation and an emeritus member of the board of directors at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre. He served as president of the Richard U. Light Foundation and vice president of the Dorothy U. Dalton Foundation. Howard was also active in the Kalamazoo Rotary Club and Western Michigan University Foundation.

When Howard retired after 39 years at Upjohn, former KZCF Board President Bill Lawrence and trustees recognized Howard’s service to KZCF with a resolution and established a fund in his honor. Per the family’s request, memorials in Howard’s memory may be directed to the Howard D. Kalleward Operational Fund at KZCF or your favorite charity.