By HDN staff
GERTRUDE BEELER CALKIN
CHINOOK Gertrude Maria Beeler Calkin, 87, died Tuesday, Sept. 6, 1999, at a Chinook care center after suffering a stroke.
Memorial services will be held 3 p.m. today at Sweet Memorial Nursing Home Chapel in Chinook. Memorial services will also be held 2 p.m. Wednesday at Smith Funeral Home West in Billings.
Calkin was born July 22, 1912, in Billings to Edward Arthur Beeler and Donna Marie Veltum Beeler. The family moved to Alabama in 1920, where her father was in the sheep and wool business. She attended Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery before moving to Edinburg, Texas, in 1930. She graduated from Edinburg High School in 1931.
In 1936, she returned to Billings where she was employed by Baumgardner Photographic Studio as a photo tinter, and later at Tippets Studio where she tinted black and white photos, and retouched negatives. She was also employed by Hesters Photo Studio before becoming the color processing manager for Kaspers Photo in Billings.
During WWII she did black and white and color photo tinting for returning service men.
On Oct. 1, 1939, she married Ronald W. Calkin at Billings. The couple owned and operated a photo studio in their home before moving to the Billings Bench where they lived from 1954 to 1998. She was a resident of Sweet Memorial Home in Chinook for the past year.
Calkin was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. She was Worthy Matron of Billings Friendship Chapter No. 124 OES from 1962 to 1963. In 1964, she was Grand Representative of Manitoba, Canada in Montana, and in 1991 to 1992 she was Grand Ruth of the Grand Chapter of Montana, OES. In June of 1961, she received the honor of the Grand Cross of Color from the Supreme Assembly of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls. She was active in many other Masonic organizations, and was a long time member of the Yellowstone County Republicans, and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, (DAR). She was a well recognized artist, illustrator, sculptor, ceramicist, wool spinner, and cartoonist. She enjoyed painting and drawing horses.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters, Donna Louise Hackett, Helen Jacqueline Tilleman, Betty Jean Kaye, and her brother, Edward Ellaworth Beeler.
Survivors include her husband, Ronald W. Calkin of Chinook; a son, Dennis W. Calkin of Alexandria, Va.; a daughter, Ann S. Davies of Chinook; two sisters, Phyllis Clouse of Helena and Judy Bartley of Casper, Wyo.; two granddaughters; and several nieces and nephews.
Memorials are suggested to the Sweet Memorial Nursing Home or to the Blaine County Ambulance I.
Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook is in charge of arrangements.