Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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Obituary ~ Leland “Dude” Calkins
October 13, 1919 ~ August 21, 2016

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, September 07, 2016

MASON CITY — Leland “Dude” Calkins, 96, retired from the Mason City Water Department, died on Aug. 21, 2016, while receiving hospice care at the Manly Specialty Care.

A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at Hogan-Bremer-Moore Colonial Chapel, 126 3rd St. N.E., Mason City, with Reverend Jim Roth officiating.

Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home.

Memorials can be sent to the VFW in Mason City.

Dude was born Oct. 13, 1919, the twin son of Charles and Mabel (Anderson) Calkins in Swaledale, IA. Dude was united in marriage to Janiece (Bigelow) Wenzel at the Rudd United Methodist Church on Jan. 2, 1981. She preceded him in death on their 35 wedding anniversary Jan. 2, 2016, from double lung cancer and broken pelvis.

Dude completed an 8th grade education attending various schools before working as a farm hand at age 14 near Northwood, IA. He was working at Decker’s Meat Packing plant as a sausage stuffer when he received his draft notice. He received a deferment for 3 months to finish an important government order.

He was drafted into the Army and served in Italy and occupied Germany. His orders to go to Japan were rescinded after the atomic bomb was dropped. While serving in Germany he played a borrowed accordion in a village causing the entire town to dance in the street. It was the first music they had heard in years. After WWII he had various jobs. During retirement he worked at Hoover’s Hatchery of Rudd, IA. Dude was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Dude played fast pitch softball as a pitcher and was inducted into the River City Softball Hall of Fame in 1984. He belonged to up to 3 bowling leagues at a time. He was awarded a ring for bowling a perfect 300 game. Dude also played tournament level horse shoes.

Dude and his brothers were accomplished self taught musicians. He played button accordion, mandolin, guitar, violin, 6 string banjo, and harmonica. Dude and Janiece traveled to Blue Grass Fests in Iowa and Minnesota in his van to listen to music. He taught Janiece to strum a guitar so they could play together.

Dude is survived by his son Leon of Tucson, AZ; grandson Chad Reece of Vero Beach, FL; niece Sherry “Sharon” Swanson of Huntley, IL; nephew Cecil (Peggy) Calkins of Granger, IA; five great-nieces, Trudy (David) and Chandler Capitani of Northwood, IA, Lee Anne Fox of Fonita Springs, FL and Jody and Vaughn Harrington of St Charles, IL; three great-nephews, Mark Calkins of Des Moines, Weston Harrington of St Charles, IL, and Spencer Capitani of Northwood, IA.

He was preceded in death by his parents; spouse; and his three brothers, Francis, Forrest, and his twin Leonard.

Hogan-Bremer-Moore Colonial Chapel, 126 3rd St. NE, Mason City, IA, 641-423-2372, ColonialChapels.com.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, November of 2016

 

 

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