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Maurice C. "Bill" Calkins, Jr.

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“Deb- My thoughts and prayers are with you. Your Dad was so proud of you. You are a terrific daughter and a wonderful friend. I hope that your...Read More »
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“Deb: Our thoughts and prayers are with you on the passing of your dad. What an amazing life he had. ”
2 of 2 | Posted by: Dave Eddy - Battle Creek, MI

Air Force Emblem

Maurice C. "Bill" Calkins, Jr. of Augusta, MI

Bill, age 91, died Saturday, September 9, 2017 at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital following a brief illness.

Bill, the son of Mae (Green) Calkins and Maurice Calkins Sr., was born on January 21, 1926 in Battle Creek. He had been residing at the Heritage Assisted Living since October 2015.

Bill was a 1944 graduate of Battle Creek Central High School. With WWII underway, he also joined the Army Air Corp that same year where he served as a (Sergeant) remote control turret mechanical gunner.

He first learned to fly at age 16 and continued flying until almost age 89—of which he was very proud. The last airplane he owned was a Maule. For many years he also had an active commercial pilot license.

Bill was employed at Post Cereals/Kraft Foods for 40 years, retiring in 1986. Many of those years were spent in the Trucks Department.

He was united in marriage to Verbena "Vee" Fletcher on January 14, 1950 in Marshall, MI. She preceded him in death in 2011. He was also preceded in death by a sister, JoAnn in 1934. He is survived by two daughters, Deb and Pamela in the Battle Creek area, a grandson, Shane Thompson, several cousins, nieces and many special friends from his pilot days.

Bill also played piano for a number of years with the Lew Boyd Band. He also enjoyed playing tennis at Minges Creek Athletic Club for many years. He was happy to finally fulfill a goal of visiting Alaska in 2012 with family members. While residing at the Heritage, he thoroughly enjoyed the on site church services and musical performances.

Bill's family will greet friends on Wednesday, September 13th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Battle Creek. The Graveside Service to celebrate Bill's life will be held on Thursday, September 14th at Noon at Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, MI with the Wright-Patterson AFB Honor Guard and the Fort Custer Honor Guard bestowing full military honors and the Rev. Dr. James M. Gysel, officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Bill's honor may be directed to the Post Foundation of Battle Creek, in care of the Battle Creek Community Foundation, 32 W. Michigan Avenue, Battle Creek, MI 49017 or the Humane Society of South Central Michigan, 2500 Watkins Road, Battle Creek, MI 49015.