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Obituary: Calmes, James E., Smsgt

Age 70

United Sates Air Force (Ret.)

Jim Calmes passed away July 17, 2012, fighting the good fight to the end from complications of his lung cancer resulting in leukemia, with his family at his side. He was one of our nation’s heroes, an Air Force Veteran, but to his family, he was so much more. He was the father and husband that are the backbone of our country, a man to look up to. He will be so missed; God got a good one! Jim was born in Pearl River, Louisiana on January 7, 1942 to Charles and Ella Calmes. Jim spent, as he is fond of saying, 26 years and 28 days (but who’s counting?) in the Air Force as a Survival Instructor, teaching all terrain survival at Stead AFB in Nevada; teaching instructors at Fairchild AFB in Washington (where he met the love of his life, Norma); jungle survival at the Clark AFB in the Philippines (where they found Melinda under a rice paddy), where, as part of his duties, he taught in country survival in Vietnam; water survival at Homestead AFB in Florida (where Dana swam into their hearts); and then back to Fairchild AFB teaching multiple survivor scenarios for the rest of his career; retiring as Senior Master Sergeant. Jim graduated from Hammond HS in LA in 1960, played a year of football on a scholarship for Southeastern, then joined the Air Force and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Park College in Kansas City during his time in the service. In retirement Jim enjoyed bowling, hunting, fishing, and attending all of the activities that his grandsons were involved in. He tried to make it to every game! Jim is survived by his wife of 45 years, Norma Krick Calmes; daughters Melinda Eskue and Dana Wichman (Tom); grandsons Aaron and Austin Eskue and Brent Miller; sister Linda Calmes Lester; brothers-in-law Wayne Talley and Bob Krick, sisters-in-law Evelyn Calmes and Leona Krick; and many other much loved family. He was preceded in death by his sister Mary Calmes Talley and brother T.C. Calmes as well as brother-in-law Kay Krick and sister-in-law Roberta Krick. Services will be held at 1PM, Saturday, August 4, 2012 at Christ’s Church, W. 5804 Herman Rd., Deer Park, Pastor Sonny Clemmer presiding; with a potluck reception following at the Deer Park Eagles. We are grateful to all the healthcare professionals and the VA Medical Center for all of the care given for medical conditions that resulted from his exposure to Agent Orange, and to the Inland Northwest Blood Bank and their volunteer donors who made such a difference at the end of Jim’s life. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Jim’s name at the Inland Northwest Blood Bank online at or make donations to the Community Living Center at the Spokane VA Medical Center, 4815 N. Assembly St., Spokane, WA 99205.