Laurence Joseph Calkins (“Larry” to all who knew him) was the youngest son of Isaac and Francis Calkins, born July 1, 1935 in Detroit Michigan. His older brother, Tom, was a retired Air Force Master Sgt. In the Air Force. Tom passed away on November 1st in 1983. Larry was a digital thinker in an analog world. With a masters degree in physics from the University of Detroit, he was around for the advent of computers – probably one of the few in this day and age who still knew how an abacus works. Having a mechanical and theoretical mind, Larry embraced car culture and was an original “hot rodder” who cruised Woodward Avenue in Detroit in a myriad of vehicles, from a Model A to his dream car, a yellow 1940 Mercury Convertible. Larry was first an automotive engineer for Chrysler and then segued into Chrysler Missile and the aerospace industry. Larry married the love of his life, Mary, in 1968.
To his brother’s wife, Rose, Larry was the favorite in-law, and to their five children, Michael, Laura, Lisa, Mark, and Matthew, Larry was known as the “fun uncle.” That automotive gene of Larry’s rubbed off on his nieces, nephews, and his own children.
A stint at Buroughs Corporation, a company who’s history paralleled many of the major developments in computing, brought he and Mary, and their two young sons, Thomas (Tom) and James (Jim) from the Detroit area out to Laguna Niguel, California in 1976, where his third son, Donald (Don) was born in December of that year.
A devote parishioner of St. Timothy’s in Laguna Niguel, Larry and his family started attending when the church was founded and met in the multipurpose room at Crown Valley Elementary School. Along with many of the original families, Larry and his family joined in fellowship, including many camping trips and beach bon fires with the Weeks family, the Briggs family, the Welzien Family, the Beltran family, the Rice Family, and many others. Larry and Mary were active in the youth ministry program at St. Timothy’s and hosted weekly confirmation classes at their home.
Larry was known by all as an easygoing, content individual, with an infectious smile, a kind soul, and hug for anyone who needed it. Larry always put his family first. All three of his boys graduated from St. Catherine’s in Laguna Beach and went on to graduate from Servite (Tom and Jim) and Santa Margarita (Don). Larry was very proud of Mary, who in her 50’s graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and was most proud of his three sons, a doctor (Tom), a lawyer (Jim), and a military and commercial pilot (Don). Larry loved nothing better than spending time with his boys. Later, as Tom, Jim, and Don got married, Larry loved each of his daughters-in-law as if they were his own.
After a protracted fight with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Larry’s wife, Mary, passed away in 2008. Larry stepped up to the grandparent roll to his grandkids, and enjoyed every play, recital, sporting event, holiday, and overall just spending time with all ten of his grandchildren (and his sons and daughters’-in-law). In his spare time, in addition to spending as much time as he could with his sons, Larry continued to develop software programming, leveraged his mental acuity playing bridge with friends at the Laguna Niguel Senior Center, and enjoyed what he called his “horse,” his 2005 Mustang GT Convertible.
Larry leaves a legacy of love of selflessness. At his death he was surrounded by his sons and left this world peacefully. He will forever be loved and missed.