Leland Ray Calkins, 85, passed away in Seattle on Nov. 24, 2022, following complications of a recent surgery. Lee was born Sept.17, 1937, to Alfred and Iola Calkins in Chehalis, Washington.
He was raised on a small farm in South Chehalis with his three siblings: Shirley, Dale and Janice. Lee attended Chehalis schools and graduated in 1955 from W.F. West High School. Lee married a high school classmate and life partner Ellen (Hamrick) Calkins on Sept. 28, 1957.
They lived a happy, active and busy life for nearly 60 years until Ellen’s death in 2017. They raised three children — Sherri, Rocky and Kelly — in a modest home near Recreation Park. This home was the hub of gatherings and activity for many friends and family members throughout the years. Memorable family get-a-ways were spent at Phillips Lake with friends that felt like family, the Elders.
Lee was a self taught mechanic and owner of Lee’s Lineup Shop for more than 60 years. He was a member of several fraternal organizations, a sports referee, political candidate in 1980, private pilot, two-cylinder club president and very active in the Lewis County community. In later years, he was most proud of the Class of 1950’s scholarship for W.F. West students where he served as a participating member of the scholarship board. He was a loyal friend to many, enjoying daily meetings with his coffee buddies at their usual haunts around town.
Lee is survived by his children Sherri (Doug) Hortin, Rocky (Joni) Calkins and Kelly Calkins; grandchildren Alex Hortin, Elliot (Jeremy) Specht, Lauren (Brent) Deringer, Kenzie (Scott) Brand, Brady Calkins and Delanie Calkins; great grandchildren Mercer and Monroe Specht, Cash and Crew Deringer, Hudson Brand, and Beckett Calkins; sister Janice Gibson and many nieces and nephews.
Lee will be remembered dearly by all who knew him. A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. on Jan. 10 at The Barn on 3605 Jackson Highway where family and friends will be welcome to share memories of Lee’s life. flIn lieu of flowers, please send remembrances to W.F. West High School’s Class of the 50s, Chehalis Foundation, in memory of Lee Calkins Chehalis Scholarship Foundation, P.O. Box 1608, Chehalis, Washington, 98532, https://chehalisfoundation.org/ classes-of-the-50s/.