Walter (Walt, Mattie) R. Calkins 91 a life long resident of West Swanzey died on Saturday, March 30, 2013. He passed peacefully while sleeping at Genesis Care Center in Keene.
He was born the son of the late Mattie (Whittemore) and George Calkins Sr. on December 14, 1921 in West Swanzey. He was educated locally and left school after the eighth grade as so many of his generation did to help the family.
Mattie worked for many different places over his life time. He finished his career as a Picker House at the Old Homestead Woolen Mill in West Swanzey. Walt retired from the mill after ten years on services in 1984.
Walt enjoyed many things in life. He was an avid outdoorsman. Much of his time was spent hunting, fishing and exploring the area. You could see him riding his bike around town. He enjoyed riding his bike well into his late eighties. Mattie was a clever fellow writing songs and singing them. He wrote the theme song for the town of Swanzey which has been printed in the town registry. Mattie had a soft spot for children. He would make toys out of wood and donate them. He loved to play baseball. Walt was a pitcher in many leagues traveling all over New England. For fun Mattie would race H.O. radio controlled cars at the old Athletic Association in West Swanzey. He gave freely of his time to the town on the Swanzey Conservation Commission and the Preservation Commission. Later in life he set signs at Pisgah Park.
Mr. Calkins is survived by his siblings; Betty I. Short and her husband Leo of West Swanzey, Joanne Bolio of North Walpole. He also leaves many nieces, nephews, extended family and numerous friends. Walt is pre-deceased by his siblings; Ruth Pratt, George, Guy and Roger Calkins. His brother in-law Edward (Jim) Bolio died earlier.
Calling hours will be held on Wednesday April 3, 2013 from 5 to 7pm. A celebration of life service will occur on Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 11am. all in the funeral home. Burial will take place later in the family lot at Oak Hill Cemetery in West Swanzey. In lieu of flowers donations should be made in memory of Walter R. Calkins to the Preservation Commission, Town Hall, P.O. Box 10009, Swanzey, NH. 03446. All services are incomplete and under the direction of Cheshire Family Funeral Home in Swanzey. www.cheshirefamilyfuneralhome.com.