July 26, 1954 – July 11, 2013
Howard William Calkin was a plant physiologist and later a software engineer. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Union College in 1976, and received a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from UC Davis in 1981, where he wrote his dissertation on deciduous and evergreen perennials in Cold Creek Canyon. Davis is where he met his wife Eleanor, whom he married in 1981. After performing research in Hawaii, Howard completed his post-doctoral work at UCLA. Howard then returned to Davis with Eleanor, to work at UCD in the Department of Viticulture and Enology. His love of designing instrumentation led Howard to change careers and become a software engineer for Hewlett-Packard. He continued to live in Davis with his wife and his two sons for 37 years.
Howard began chanting as a Nichiren Buddhist in March of 1981.
He was born on July 26, 1954. He was the son of Emma-Louise Drescher and Howard Wilbur Calkin, a construction contractor on Long Island, N.Y. From his earliest days, Howard loved to explore. Over the years his exploratory spirit led him to exuberantly embrace cave spelunking, rock climbing, SCUBA diving, caber tossing, horseback riding, kendo, aikido, teaching 4-H archery, bag-piping, fencing, and taiko. Of the many passions into which Howard dove with all of his being, taiko drumming was the perhaps the most meaningful
He dedicated much of the last years to the Sacramento Taiko Dan as both a performer and a teacher. Howard was also a long-time dedicated member of the Soka Gakkai International, a lay Buddhist organization, where he was committed to supporting youth, particularly through Taiko instruction and drum building.
After a ten-month fight against cancer, Howard passed away at home on the morning of July 11, 2013. He is survived by his sister Jeanne, his loving wife Eleanor, and his proud sons Reid and Tyler.
If you wish, in lieu of flowers you may donate to the cancer research center of your choice.
“The journey from Kamakura to Kyoto takes twelve days. If you travel for but eleven, and cease on the twelfth, how can you admire the moon over the capital?…If you do not question and resolve your doubts, you cannot dispel the dark clouds of illusion, any more than you could travel a thousand miles without legs.”
From: Letter to Niike Saemon-no-jo
The second month in the third year of Koan (1280)
A public Buddhist memorial will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 27 at the SGI Sacramento Community Center, 1812 Tribute Rd Suite C & D, Sacramento, CA 95815.