Sierra Wave Media

Eastern Sierra News for June 19, 2024





A memorial service for 57-year Bishop resident Donald K. Calkins will be held Saturday, Jan. 3, 1 p.m., Brune Mortuary, Bishop. The Rev. Caddy Jackson will officiate. A private family service with military honors by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8988 will precede the memorial service. Mr. Calkins, 90, died Dec. 30 at Northern Inyo Hospital.

Born Sept. 28, 1918 in Salinas, Calif., Mr. Calkins was raised in Ceres, Calif. After attending Modesto Junior College, Mr. Calkins earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Southern California in 1941.

Mr. Calkins enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, attending Reserve Officer Candidates school in Quantico, Va. He joined the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Elliott, Calif. and saw action in four operations including Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan and Tinian. He was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service during the 1944 Battle of Saipan in the Marianas Islands.
A USMC station assignment near Wellington, New Zealand led Mr. Calkins to meet Bobbie Scott. The couple married in St. Peters Cathedral on Aug. 7, 1943. Upon return to the states, Mr. Calkins served as Executive Officer at Camp Elliott, where Mrs. Calkins soon joined him.

Following honorable discharge from the Marines, he joined his father and brother as co-publisher of the Calkins Newspapers in Modesto. The company owned four weekly newspapers including The Modesto Journal, The Hughson Chronicle, The Denair Times and The Ceres Courier.

In 1951 he left the family business to take a position at Bishops Chalfant Press. Under the then-leadership of Todd Watkins, Chalfant Press produced The Inyo Register, The Inyo Independent, The Owens Valley Progress-Citizen, The Mono Herald and The Bridgeport Chronicle Union.

Mr. Calkins ultimately dedicated 42 years of his life to Chalfant Press. Like so many of his journalism brethren, he worked in almost every capacity at Chalfant Press. He served as editor, reporter, photographer, and in later years ran the operations darkroom facilities. He also penned the popular Days Gone By column for the better part of a decade, thoroughly enjoying those moments when he touched on the push and pull days of the Los Angeles-Owens Valley water wars.

He also served as a correspondent for The Los Angeles Times and The Associated Press. He was a long-time contributor to Chalfants successful annual publication, The Eastern Sierra Fishing Guide, and often served as the host for Chalfants informal media gathering during the annual Trout Opener.

While semi-retiring from the newspaper in 1984, Mr. Calkins continued to contribute to the Chalfant Press operations until Dec. 30, 1993. He and his wife spent the last 14 years enjoying time with their children and extended family as well as one another.

Mr. Calkins was a life member of the Bishop Lions Club, a 50-year member of the Bishop Elks Lodge and a member of the American Legion. He served 14 years as a board member, and then as vice president, of the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association. His most memorable honor was being placed on the retired reserve list as Lieutenant Colonel USMCR.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Bobbie, of Bishop; daughter and son-in-law, Gail and Will Arcularius of Cedar City, Utah; son, Robert Calkins of Wellington, Nev.; grandchildren Tina Mosey of San Diego, Greg August and Bob August of the Bay Area, and Angie Calkins of Reno; great-grandchildren Ashley and Stephen August; nephew Doug Calkins; niece Jackie Calkins and cousin Patricia Shepherd of Oregon.