Bruce Jay Calkins, 89, passed away unexpectedly from complications of COVID-19 on February 21, 2021, at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau, Wisconsin. He had also been bravely and without complaint living with the aftereffects of a serious stroke suffered in September 2019.
Bruce was born on February 28, 1931, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to Paul H. Calkins and Helen (Hylie) (Hoeppner) Calkins.Bruce graduated from Eau Claire High School, Class of 1949. After graduation, he attended college at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire and at Montana State College in Bozeman, Montana, earning a BS degree in physics and certification as a professional engineer. He also served his country as a sonarman on a U.S. Navy destroyer during the Korean War. Bruce married his high school classmate Joyce on September 3, 1955, and they raised three children. Bruce worked as a project engineer for Honeywell Inc. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, before starting his own business, Specialty Systems, Inc. and its affiliate, Specialty Marine Systems, Inc., in Mosinee, Wisconsin, in 1972.Throughout his life, Bruce was an avid outdoorsman and loved to hunt and fish with family and friends and he loved nothing better than spending time at the family cottage on Round Lake in northwestern Wisconsin where chopping wood was also a favorite pastime. Without a doubt, being at the cottage was where he was most happy. Bruce’s life was special and unique and he will be missed and always loved and remembered.
Bruce is survived by his loving wife, Joyce Elaine (Boettcher) Calkins, of more than 66 years and their three loving children, James (Jim) and his partner Ronald Scolman of Minnetonka, Minnesota, Karen Mack and her husband David of Hatley, Wisconsin, and Jon and his wife Jennifer of St. Paul, Minnesota. Bruce is also survived by his sister Mary Jane (Midge; Pewee to Bruce) Amend of Delano, Minnesota, and three grandchildren, Jennifer (Mack) Kressin (Jesse), Justin Mack, and Taylor Calkins, many nieces and nephews and their families, and a number of faithful, life-long friends.In addition to his parents, Bruce was predeceased by his sister Lorna Bye and her husband Richard (Dick) Bye of Bryan, Texas, and his brother-in-law John Amend of Delano, Minnesota.The family is being assisted by Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The family extends their sincerest thanks to the medical staff at Aspirus Hospital for their loving care during these challenging COVID-19 times.
A graveside service will take place at 11 am on Friday, June 18, 2021 at Lakeview Cemetery in Eau Claire.
Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com. Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.
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