1945 – 2023

ussell J. Calkins, age 78 of Monroe, passed away Wednesday, May 10, 2023 at ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital.
Born April 25, 1945 in Monroe, Russ was the son of the late Edgar and Virginia (Leonard) Calkins. He graduated from Monroe Catholic Central High School in 1964 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on October 14, 1965 serving two tours in Vietnam, one aboard the USS Yorktown and one stationed aboard a PBR patrolling the riverways with the Brown Water Navy. He was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries he sustained during the Vietnam War. He also earned the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. He was honorably discharged after serving his country for four years on October 13, 1969.
Russ married Linda L. Loonis on July 26, 1969 at St. Mary Catholic Church. Together they raised four children. He was employed by Ford Motor Company for 33 years at the Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti.
Russ was a member of St. Michael Catholic Church and the Carleton VFW Post 4093 where he served as a member of its funeral honor guard ritual team. He also volunteered his personal time distributing food for St. Joseph Food Closet.
Russ was an avid woodworker and Detroit Red Wings fan. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, music, traveling with his family and dancing with his wife.
Russ is survived by his wife Linda of 53 years; his children, Richard (Susan) Calkins of Carleton, Cheryl (Drew) Famulak of Grand Rapids, Stefanie (Don Wolfe) Calkins of Camas, WA, and Tim (Shannon Kinne) Calkins of Charleston, SC; six siblings, Kathy (Eugene) Staelgraeve of Monroe, Ken Calkins of Monroe, Mark Calkins of Carleton, Jeanne (Ron) Riley of Monroe, Jim Calkins of Monroe, and Veronica (Wayne) Wilkins of Livonia; five grandchildren, Ryan, Ian, Emma, Erich, and Opal.
In addition to his parents, Russ was preceded in death by a brother Greg Calkins and brother-in-law, Joe Richardville.
Family and friends may visit from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 16th at Bacarella Funeral Home. At 6 p.m. members of Carleton VFW Post 4093 will perform a Military Funeral Honors Ceremony to their fallen comrade immediately followed by a Rosary prayer service. Russ will lie in state at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Michael Catholic Church. Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 11 a.m. by the church pastor, Rev. Fr. Kishore Battu.
For anyone wanting to make a donation in memory of Russ, the family suggests supporting Operation Black Sheep – The John McClurg Foundation for Vietnam veterans (
Online condolences and special memories may be shared with the family by visiting the obituary page at