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William H. Calkins


1921 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
William H. Calkins Obituary
After a full 96 years of life, William (Bill) Calkins passed away on 1-13-18. Born in Richmond Township, WI, to Mark Clifford Calkins and Irene Smith Calkins, Bill spent his childhood in Whitewater, WI. He met his future bride at Fort Knox, KY, where he was stationed as a member of one of the Army Post bands, having decided that music would be his profession. He married Helen Louise Roller in 1946 in Louisville, KY, and they moved to Chicago where he continued his music studies at Northwestern University. He was employed by ABC radio/TV and WGN radio/TV between 1952 & 1959.

In 1959, the Calkins family moved to the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles so Bill could continue his career as a free-lance musician. He was a woodwind player (saxophone, flute & clarinet) who found great success doing TV and film work, making record albums & playing live shows and concerts.

In 1966, he took his talent to Cal State University, Northridge as a member of their Applied Music Faculty. He influenced many students with his excellent instruction, encouraging words, and positive attitude. He retired in 2000.

Bill is survived by Helen, his loving and devoted wife of over 71 years who still resides in Tarzana, CA; daughter Linda Louise Dusckett; daughter Gloria Jean Silvestri; son William Henry Calkins, Jr.; grandson Jeffery Garrett Silvestri; grandaughter Amy Rochelle Lonberger; and five great grandchildren.

His family was truly blessed to have Bill in their lives. He was a wonderful man who touched many lives in a positive, caring manner. His generosity and good humor were felt by all who knew him. The song has ended, but the music lives on.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 24 at 1pm at the First United Methodist Church of Reseda, CA, where Bill & Helen were longstanding members.
Published in Los Angeles Daily News on Jan. 30, 2018
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