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Roland Blanchard Calhoun 1925 ~ 2018

Swan Song

 

January 18, 2018

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Roland Blanchard Calhoun 1925 ~ 2018

SEELEY LAKE - Roland Blanchard Calhoun passed away peacefully on Jan. 10, 2018, in Centennial, Colo. He was born on Nov. 30, 1925, in Evanston Hospital (where he was the biggest baby born up until that time, at 10 pounds, 4 ounces). Roland was the eighth child of James Kent Calhoun, and the fourth child of JK's second wife, Blanche Hurford (and she wasn't five feet tall, so that big-baby thing couldn't have been fun).

Roland was raised on Greenwood Avenue in Glencoe, Ill. and graduated from New Trier High School at 16. He attended the University of Arizona (where he was in the country's last ROTC cavalry unit), then joined the Navy in 1944. He enrolled at Northwestern University after the war, earning a degree in electrical engineering in 1949. He met his future wife Shirley Somers at Northwestern; they married in 1950. 

After graduation, Roland (who most people knew as Cal) worked for Commonwealth Edison, then moved to Mills-Winfield Engineering Sales, where he remained until he retired as the president in 1988. He and Shirley moved to Glencoe in 1952 and raised their five children there.

Roland held various public positions, starting with the presidency of the Glencoe Park & Recreation District Board, which he left in 1968 to become Glencoe Village President from 1968 to 1976. He was on the board of the Harris Bank of Glencoe for twenty years, raised significant funds for the new North Shore Senior Center as a member of its associate board, and was always active in the Glencoe Union Church, where he joined the choir at the age of five and held practically every volunteer position, including guiding younger generations as leader of Youth Fellowship.  But his most high-profile position was on the antique high bicycle that he rode in every Glencoe Fourth of July Parade for decades.

He and Shirley moved to Northbrook, Ill. in 1996, then to Denver, Colo. in 2012. They spent every summer at Elbow Lake south of Seeley Lake, Mont. where Roland and our family built a cabin on an old homestead in 1970. Roland was active in Mountain Lakes Presbyterian Church and the Seeley Lake Community Foundation.

Roland loved trains, music, logical thinking, building and repairing anything, his communities, his family and his God. His mantra: "Doing good, having fun, maybe both."

He is survived by his wife Shirley; his five children -- Geoffrey Calhoun (married to Deborah) of Conifer, Colo., Patricia Calhoun of Denver, Colo., Susan Nicholl (married to Matthew) of Framingham, Mass., Catherine Calhoun (married to Nathan Ward) of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Donna Weinstock (married to Ray); a dozen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.  A memorial service is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Glencoe Union Church. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Glencoe Union Church, the Seeley Lake Fire Fund at Missoula United Way or StepDenver.org.

 

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