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Russell Paul Calame


1921 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Russell Paul Calame
1921 - 2015
It is a rare thing to have crossed paths with a man like Russell Calame. Russ was rich and lucky…a good-looking guy with a magnetic personality and unshakeable character. He seemed bigger than life.
Russ died July 16, just shy of 94, leaving behind a lifetime of good works and good memories for his family, friends, and community.
Russ was rich in life experience. He was a genuine "G-Man", someone that consorted with robbers and kidnappers, skyjackers and spies, but also with federal & state public officials, judges and governors. He was a private eye, a true crime researcher, author and talk show personality. He lived a life some only dream of.
Russ was rich in family and faith; 71 years with Mary, the love of his life, 5 kids, 14 grandkids and 10 great grandkids; He was a devout Roman Catholic and contributed time & treasure to his faith.
Russ was rich in friends…some lifelong and many more through work & life's adventures, helping others and social activities. People were drawn to Russ.
Russ was lucky and he knew it. He was lucky to have grown up in a secure and loving extended family in Davenport, Iowa during the depression. It is there where he was instilled with faith, the principles of a good life, the character traits and code of conduct he would exemplify in the years to come.
Russ was lucky to have met Mary Jane Harter on his second weekend at Iowa State College, a girl he knew he would marry from the moment he met her. He was lucky to have finished school and commit to Mary before shipping off to Europe as a field artillery officer. He was lucky to survive WWII unscathed when so many didn't.
Russ was lucky to have had the discernment to know that chemical engineering was not a passion, and that the FBI with its challenging mission, was his calling.
With the help of more senior agents, along with countless cases "solved" in nine different cities, Russ rose quickly through the leadership ranks of the Bureau, becoming the Special Agent in Charge of the Utah division. He excelled at the public relations side of the FBI's "work", liaising with federal, state, and local agencies, appearing on over 900 radio & TV shows, speaking at 100s of engagements, conferences, and law enforcement training sessions. During his tenure with the FBI Russ received over 40 commendations and awards, the Utah Distinguished Service Award, and was asked to serve on both the Utah Governors Council and Federal Executive Association. To Russ, The FBI and the pursuit of justice was a vocation not a job.
Russ was lucky to have a fulfilling life in retirement. Never one to sit around, Russ started Professional Business Investigations, a 20 year enterprise. He was the principle researcher and contributor of the true crime book "DB Cooper, The Real McCoy", contributed to and held various positions in the Society for Former Agents, FBI National Academy and Utah Peace Officers association. His faith strong, Russ served on the Board of Directors of the Catholic Community Services organization and was a long time member of the Ambrosians. In 1993, Russ was named Man of the Year for his active support of his college fraternity, Kappa Sigma. He even served as airport "greeter" at the Olympics.
With that kind of retirement load you'd think there wouldn't be time for play but that wasn't Russ. He traveled the world with Mary, was a lifelong golfer and founding member of the Fort Douglas Country Club, and could be seen around town "cutting a rug" at Saturday Night Dance Club, playing bridge or attending the symphony or sporting events. Russ Calame's was a life well lived.
We thank Russ's friends who were there for him these last few years, and especially the folks at Sunrise Senior Living and Inspiration Hospice for the tender care and encouragement given to Russ and Mary, and to our family. It made a difference.
Services for Russ Calame will include a viewing on August 6th at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East between 6:00 and 8:00 PM. A special Mass will be celebrated on the August 7th at 11:00 AM at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 2315 Redondo Ave., Salt Lake City. Interment at Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery, 4th Ave. "T" Street, Salt Lake City.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Inspiration Hospice or the Catholic Community Services of Utah. Online condolences may be offered to the family at www.starksfuneral.com
Published in Salt Lake Tribune from July 26 to Aug. 2, 2015
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