Jeanne Louise Calkins

Celebration of Life for Jeanne Louise Calkins, 59, Kansas City, Missouri will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday, February 13,2015 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. Private family burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery, Lawrence, Kansas. She died February 8, 2015 at her home in Brookside.

Jeanne’s childhood was spent in the Chicago suburbs and in rural Illinois where she first developed her love for animals, especially cats. in 1966, her family moved to Olathe, Kansas. he graduated from Olathe High School in 1974. She went on to complete her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Kansas in 1978. She was married for fifteen years, her and her husband enjoyed a wonderful dog, purchased a home and Jeanne nurtured her love for gardening.

Jeanne loved long-legged, long-necked birds; she said she could identify with them since she was tall with a graceful neck. She loved to cook and never traveled anywhere without a fresh peppercorn grinder, candles, and wine, since she would often try to stay in boutique hotels or cottages. Her favorite travel destinations was the Sylvia Hotel in Vancouver, Canada. She enjoyed good food, eclectic restaurants, and the lifestyle offered by living in the Brookside area of Kansas City. Her cats, Fiona, Bogey, Miles, Helmsley and Cato, adored her and brought her joy, fun and companionship. On a fine summer day, you would find Jeanne on her balcony, cats in lap, sipping a glass of wine, reading her favorite book or writing in her journal. Creative writing, reading and the fine arts were some of her favorite hobbies. She was passionate about music-jazz, classical, R&B and big bands. She was ardently attached to Art Deco and she loved a good bargain. She was a progressive liberal. She was a strong advocate who promoted social equality and joined in many causes throughout her life.

A loyal, dedicated, involved, loving; daughter, sister, aunt, godmother and friend. “Lucky You” to be loved by Jeanne!

Her career took her from Ice Cream truck driver to bartender to event coordinator at Kemper Arena(highlighted by coordinating the 1998 final four NCAA tournament). Jeanne also managed the contract aviation activities and served as a liaison with the law department and city council. She was a real estate negotiator and manager at Sprint.

Jeanne’s Community involvement included Good Shepherd Hospice, National Breast Council Coalition, Board of Directors of Touched by Cancer Foundation, United Way Department Way department coordinator and member of International Right-of-Way Association.

She waged a courageous nine year battle with inflammatory breast cancer. BRAVE with surgeries, chemo, and radiation, she persevered with a healthy mind soul and spirit.

A life ending way too short. We will miss her with every breath. But a life of an incredible woman that will always bring a smile. We know she is now doing great things in God’s heaven. She is back to that beautiful free spirit powerful, hippie girl of the seventies, helping those gals to get it right!

Survivors include her mother and stepfather, Barbara and Bob Rieke of Olathe, Kansas; father and stepmother Bill and Patty Calkins of Springfield, MO; brother, Steve Calkins of Lawrence,KS; brother and wife, Lee and Jean Calkins of Wamego, KS and former sister-in-law Sheila Calkins of Magnolia, TX; brother Jim Calkins of Bloomington, IL; sister Cyndi Omiagbo of Des Moines, IA; Numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews; a goddaughter Teanna Totten of Lawrence, KS; Her two dearest friends Cathy Gilbert of Sacramento, CA and Joda Totten of Lawrence, KS.

Memorial contributions may be made in her name to Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, American Civil Liberties Union and Wayside Waifs of Kansas City, MO and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

3 Condolences

  1. Ann and Alan Henson on February 13, 2015 at 9:32 am

    We knew Jeanne for over 30 years of family gatherings. She was always interested in what we were up to and what our kids were doing. She was a loving and thoughtful daughter, sister and aunt. She will be missed by many. She is in our thoughts and prayers as is her family.
    The Henson Family

  2. Joleen VerMulm on February 13, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    I was friends with Cindy Calkins. Just happened to come across this today. Prayers to you and your family.

  3. Ginny Mason, Executive Director, IBC Research Foundation on July 1, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    It is with a broken heart that I’ve just learned of Jeanne’s passing. I got to know her soon after her diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer when she contacted our organization. We were able to meet in person through the National Breast Cancer Coalition conferences. I so admired her and enjoyed our times together laughing and enjoying good food. As an IBC sister, I will continue to advocate for improved treatments and more research in memory of Jeanne and her tenacious courage.

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