Obit: Calkins, Linda Gladys Marion M.(1914 - 2010)

Contact: Dolores Mohr Kenyon



Surnames: Calkins, Gilbertson, Stenulson, Quast, Engen, Mayers, Dutcher, Peterson, Bue, Thoreson


----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) January 5, 2011


Calkins, Linda Gladys Marion M. (20 May 1914 - 30 December 2010)


Linda G. M. Calkins, 96, of rural Humbird, Town of Mentor, Clark County, and formerly of the Black River Falls area, died peacefully at her home Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010, surrounded by her family.


Linda Gladys Marion Stenulson was born May 20, 1914, in Stenulson Coulee, Jackson County, to Willie and Caroline (Gilbertson) Stenulson and was raised in Stenulson Coulee.  She was baptized and confirmed at Squaw Creek Lutheran Church and had bragging rights to being the oldest living member.


She married Silas Calkins March 1, 1932, at Black River Falls. They lived most of their married lives in and around Jackson County until Si died Oct. 24, 1989, shortly after their 57th wedding anniversary.


Linda worked along side her husband harvesting sphagnum moss, cutting pulpwood for the paper mills, birch and hardwoods for heating and box logs for making pallets.  Linda always said, "If Si could pick up his end of the log, I would pick up mine."  Linda was a very strong person, not only physically, but constitutionally as well.  In her spare time, when she wasn’t working with Si or tending to any one of her 11 children, she was an avid gardener.  Her flowers were beautiful and her Christmas cactus would bloom all year long.  Every year, on her birthday, she would announce "This is my day!" and then would spend the whole day planting her garden.  In the fall, you would find Linda canning and freezing her bountiful harvest. A person might think Linda would have sat back and relaxed and just enjoyed the winter months when she couldn’t get outside, but Linda was never one to have idle hands. Winter would find her sewing quilts for her large family and friends. Linda bragged to all who would listen that she sewed 32 quilts one winter.


Linda loved to sit beside her husband while fishing, when she actually relaxed and would fish for hours on end.  Again she earned bragging rights by always catching the biggest fish.  Dad would pretend that he was disappointed, but actually he was very proud of Linda, not only for her fishing ability, but for being a terrific wife and companion, being a caring, loving mother and making any house they lived in a warm, comfortable home.


Linda never met a stranger, and if she did, they didn’t stay strangers for long. She loved people and they loved her back, as evidenced by countless people calling her Mom and Grandma. She was never known as Mrs. Calkins, except by professionals and even then they would forget protocol because of her warm, friendly personality.


Linda was an outstanding Christian woman, which was evidenced by the way she lived her life. She gave of herself, of her time and out of her pocketbook. She had large shoulders and open ears for anyone who needed them. There was always room for more people whether it was a place to say or a place at the table. She never knew how many people she would have to fix breakfast for, as her children had the liberty to invite their friends to stay overnight without her knowledge. (And she loved to be surprised.)


She was an excellent cook and could "Throw something on the table," as she put it, in just minutes.  Her baked bread was the best and she, once again, had bragging rights to the best potato doughnuts and sourdough pancakes made from "Scrap" (scratch) in the world.


Linda is survived by four daughters: Susan Quast and Carol (Michael) Engen both of Corpus Christi, TX; Marion (Gerald) Mayers of Surprise, AZ, and Kay Calkins of Humbird; three sons, Charles Calkins of Jacksonville, FL; Gene (LuAnn) Calkins of Janesville and John (Emma) Calkins of Humbird; three daughters-in-law, Dawn Calkins of Janesville; Charlene Dutcher of Friendship, and Kada Peterson of Vancouver, WA; 47 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; numerous great-great-grandchildren; three great-great-great-grandchildren; and many other relatives and friends.


In addition to her husband, Silas, Linda was preceded in death by her parents, Willie and Caroline Stenulson; six sons, infant Sonny, infant Donald, Jerry, Wayne, Tomas, and Bobbie Calkins; two grandsons, Bruce Calkins and Robert Calkins; a sister, Wanda Bue; and a brother, Walter Stenulson.


Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011, at the Squaw Creek Lutheran Church and burial was in the church cemetery, both of Black River Falls. Rev. Calvin Thoreson officiated. 


Family and friends were invited for visitation from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 3, 2011, at the Buswell Funeral Home, Black River Falls. There was also a visitation from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday at the church.


Memorials to Squaw Creek Lutheran Church are preferred.


Online condolences are available at



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