Birth Date: May 15, 1925Death Date: November 13, 2018
Eugene McCallum of Foster City, California passed away peacefully in his sleep on November 13, 2018 at the age of 93.
Eugene was very proud of being born in Piscataway, New Jersey on May 15th, 1925. He was the sixth and last child of Edward Joseph McCallum of Ballyshannon, Ireland and Lizzie Delano-McCallum of Brooklyn, New York.
Eugene grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he attended grammar and high school. In 1929, his father and eldest brother started an electrical construction business which kept the whole family very actively involved. Starting at the age of twelve, Eugene was wiring houses, apartments, and gasoline service stations. After school and during summer vacation time, he was active in the Boy Scouts, obtaining the rank of Starr Scout and Junior Scoutmaster. In high school he was co-captain of the swim team.
During WWII, in 1943 Eugene joined the United States Army Air Corp. Shortly after qualifying for cadet pilot training, the government eliminated the program as they did not need any additional pilots for the end of the war was in sight. He was transferred to Madison, Wisconsin, where he attended Radio School and became a radio technician. He was then transferred to Boca Raton, Florida, and was one of the few selected to attend a Supersonic Radar Training Course as a radar operator. He was also trained to be a dual .50 caliber machinegun “belly gunner” in the ball turrets underneath the B-29 “Flying Fortress” bomber aircraft. Eugene received an honorable discharge from the military service, and returned to Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1946.
Eugene married Effie May Archer-McCallum in 1944, while stationed in Madison, Wisconsin. Eugene and Effie knew each other since they were twelve years of age and were married for over 68 years. Eugene said he knew, when he first met Effie that he wanted to be with her for the rest of his life.
After his Army service, Eugene then obtained an Electrician Journeyman License, and attended the University of Bridgeport using the G.I. Bill. He then joined his family business, The Eveready Machine Company. He worked as a salesman covering the New England area as well as being actively involved in promotion material layout, direct mailing and advertising.
The company grew and Eugene moved his family to Virginia Beach, Virginia where he acted as the Regional Sales VP. Later his family would live in Boulder, Colorado, Florence, South Carolina, and Foster City, California where he retired from Union Carbide-Linde Division in 1988. He started his own very successful business in Foster City, California, EMCO Welding Equipment Repair, Inc.
Eugene’s interest included driving his 1955 Ford Thunderbird all over California on weekends and vacations. He enjoyed collecting cartoons, playing chess, and family gatherings, camping, swimming and diving. He traveled all over the world with his wife Effie, to places like Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hawaii, England, Ireland, France, Mexico, Egypt, Canada, Switzerland, and Italy as well as all 50 states and National Parks.
Eugene had a strong sense of honor. He believed in working hard and he loved his family. His exemplary integrity displayed the highest example of character, and he cared for all with whom he came in contact. With his brilliant intellect, kind demeanor, sense of humor, and dignity, he was a joy to know. He was a distinguished gentleman with wonderfully charming old school manners. He was a very special man, with a special sweetness, and was a dear father whose memory will be cherished and loved forever.
Eugene is survived by his six children: Susan McCallum Seaton, Richard McCallum, David McCallum, Diana McCallum Beckman, Sharon McCallum Lackey, Jeannie McCallum Wood.