Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 3:10 PM on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Clifford LaRoy Calkins

Sept. 12, 1935-Sept. 12, 2011

Longtime Homer resident Clifford LaRoy Calkins passed away Sept. 12, 2011, at South Peninsula Hospital.

Per Cliff's wishes there will not be a public memorial service, just a private ceremony for family members only.

Cliff was born on Sept. 12, 1935, in Sheridan, Wyo. He moved to Kachemak City with his father in 1943. At age 18, Cliff joined the Army and proudly served his country during the Korean War. He returned to Alaska after he was honorably discharged from the Army in 1957. From 1966 through 1973, he lived in California, Wyoming, Colorado and Idaho, perfecting his welding craft, eventually teaching welding at the North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene. During his time in the lower 48 Cliff also became a 3rd degree Mason.

In 1974, Cliff moved back to Kachemak City with wife Jeanne and daughters Kristina and Theresa, where Cliff was active in Kachemak City politics for many years. With his long time welding and commercial fishing experience, he started his own business, Kachemak Welding, which was one of the first aluminum welding shops in the Homer area. He specialized in building "no blue print" Lower Cook Inlet Jitneys, seine skiffs and salmon seiners. Cliff's first fishing vessel was a seine skiff he affectionately named "The Rubber Duck." Cliff also became known and respected for the unique design of the "Calkin's Skiff." Many fishermen still have this skiff in use today, and the late Governor Jay Hammond had Cliff build him a Calkin's Skiff for his salmon set net operation.

Cliff was the founder and president of the Kachemak Gun Club, which was established in the late 1970s, and he was an active member until the day he passed away. Cliff also won several local, regional and state trap shooting championships throughout the years.

He had a great love and respect for nature and animals, and was an avid hunter and sports fisherman. After Cliff retired, he finally fulfilled his lifelong dream of hunting game in Africa.

Cliff leaves behind companion Carol Miller; aunt, Hank Songer; sister, Barbara Miller; daughters, Kristina Bettes and Theresa Ross; son-in-law, Jamie Ross, and grandchildren Mystique and Alden Ross.

Donations can be made to the Kachemak Gun Club. Please contact Michael Craig, P.O. Box 3007, Homer, AK 99603 or at (907) 235-0631 to make a donation.

Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.