James “Jim” Anthony Kalkowski, 81, of Casper, WY entered into Eternal Rest on September 6, 2023 in Casper, WY.
Jim was born on December 31, 1941 in Loup City, NE to Herbert and Arlene Kalkowski. He grew up in the sand hills of Nebraska and often shared fond memories of those years. He attended country schools as a child, helping his grandmother get the schoolhouse ready for the other children each day. He attended High school in Valentine, NE until 1958, when he moved to Casper, WY. He graduated from Natrona County High School in the class of 1959. Jim went on to earn an Associates of Business degree from Casper College and then entered the Oil and Gas Industry where he would work for more than 30 years. In that time he served various roles, but took great pride in leading the construction of two pipelines for Border Fuel Company, and ultimately finding his home working for Eighty Eight Oil Company as a Contract Negotiator and Scheduler. He retired from the True Companies in 2006 and dedicated the remainder of his life to his family.
From the moment Jim arrived in Wyoming, he was drawn to the mountains and lakes and vast open spaces. He shared many wonderful times with his family and friends around the campfire, fishing in sun and snow, riding dirt bikes and just taking in the awe of Mother Nature. Jim always had a witty saying to capture the moment and always brought a smile to every gathering. He was also a loyal Nebraska Football fan and eagerly awaited their games.
Jim was a man known for doing things his own way. He had a strong ethical base, and never wavered from what he believed in. He had a compassionate heart and made sure that his family knew how proud he was of them. He loved to teach us all the lessons he had carried on from his days on the farm, his Naval military service, and his hard work in the oilfield and professional world. He was a wonderful mentor whose wisdom will be missed.
We would be remiss not to mention Jim’s affection for dogs! He was often seen with a “herd” of dogs in tow - his own, his children’s and those of his friends. He knew them all by name and they all turned inside out at the sight of his truck - knowing they were going for a walk. Jim was in remarkably great health until the last months before his passing - giving his kids and grandkids a run for their money on the hiking trail or following on the ski trail.
Jim, Dad, Grandpa will be greatly missed. We are so grateful for all he shared with us and we know the world was a better place with him in it. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Rogene, children Vince (Mary Kay) Kalkowski, and Brandi (Stuart) Atnip, his grandchildren Garrett & Aspen Kalkowski and Dallen & Ellise Atnip, his sister Veronica Morris, brother-in-law Ken Garrett, two beloved Aunts Evelyn Brush and Bonita Williams, and numerous nieces and nephews whom he was very fond of. He also leaves behind his loyal dog, Kiya. Jim was preceded in death by his mother and father, and sisters Marjorie Tewell and Sandra Carr.
The family will be holding a private Celebration of Jim’s Life for family and close friends at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Casper Humane Society. The family would like to thank the Hospice care team that helped Jim and his family in his final days.
For his all he leaves behind, as a final bit of wisdom, we share the words of a song Jim loved:
When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid
Of the dark
At the end of a storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song
Of a lark
Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone
Ever walk alone