Dr. John Artie McCall Sr., age 92, passed away Thursday, July 26, 2018, in Crockett, Texas. Dr. McCall was born January 30, 1926, in Grapeland, Texas, to parents Emmett Pierce McCall and Perlena Spence McCall and attended Grapeland Elementary School through the fourth grade. His family then moved to Palestine, Texas, where he graduated from high school. At the age of 17, John joined the Navy and received training at the Navy Hospital Corps School in San Diego, CA; U.S. Marine Field Medical Training in Oceanside, CA; and U.S. Navy Amphibious Training School and was assigned to Special Forces Amphibious Assault Beach Party Unit Pacific Operations onboard the USS Gallatin (APA196). He served 17 months sea duty in the Pacific Ocean and received the American Area Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, and the WWII Victory Medal. John joined the U.S. Navy Reserves and served during the Korean Conflict as an Optometry Officer. Upon completion of his Navy tour, he married his high school sweetheart, Elvira Goodson. John attended Sam Houston State University and was a graduate of Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee, with a Doctorate of Optometry degree. While practicing Optometry, he attended postgraduate training and received certification in therapeutics, which allowed him to practice Medical Optometry. At the time of certification, he was the oldest practicing Optometrist in Texas to receive that certification, an honor he held until his death. Dr. McCall practiced Optometry and Medical Optometry for over 66 years in Crockett. He served on the Board of Directors of the Texas Optometric Association and as president of the Piney Woods Optometric Society. Dr. McCall was a founding benefactor for the establishment of the University of Houston College of Optometry in 1952. The Texas Optometric Association honored Dr. McCall by dedicating its Annual Convention to him in 2016. In his younger years, Dr. McCall was a Boy Scoutmaster and in scout work for over 10 years, including 5 years as a Scout Commissioner. He completed all Scoutmaster courses, including training at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, earning the Scouter’s Key. Dr. McCall was active in the community as a member of the Crockett School Board, president of the Lions Club, president of the Jaycees, and a devoted member of the First United Methodist Church of Crockett. John was an accomplished doctor, rancher, tree farmer, commercial instrument pilot, philanthropist, and a veteran of WWII, serving active duty in both the Navy and Marines. Dr. McCall grew up in the Great Depression and was a member of the “Greatest Generation”: the teenage boys and young men who literally saved the world by fighting and winning WWII.
Dr. McCall is survived by his wife of 72 years, Elvira Goodson McCall; daughter, Pamela Elaine McCall Pearson; son, Dr. John Artie McCall Jr. and partner, Nancy Hemphill; grandchildren, Michael Scott McCall, Lyndsey Michelle McCall Rice and husband, Derek, Haley Anne McCall, and Matthew Ream McCall; great-grandchildren, Shaylie Rice, Madeline Rice, Jake Rice, and Christopher McCall; brothers-in-law, Frank Goodson and wife, Sarah, Lloyd Goodson and wife, Barbara; and numerous other loving relatives. He is preceded in death by his father, Emmett Pierce McCall; mother, Perlena Spence McCall Broughton; brother, Emmett Pierce McCall Jr.; and sister, Nancy McCall McDonald.
Pallbearers will be: Joe Eddie Blackwell, Colin Castleberry, OD, Ivy Evans, Joseph Holcomb, DDS, Terry Luce, Ric Pennington, Wes Pittman, OD, and Patrick Walker, MD. Honorary Pallbearers will be: Derrick Artis, OD, Michael Bennett, Col. Chris O’Conner, Chuck Cunningham, Bobby Hutcherson, Willie Josey, Paul Juvette, Thomas McLendon, Tracy Moody, Tommy Moore, and Greg Smith.
Funeral services for Dr. John Artie McCall Sr. were held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in the First United Methodist Church of Crockett, with Rev. Jerry House and Rev. Malcolm Monroe officiating. Interment followed in Evergreen Memorial Park. The family received visitors Monday, July 30, 2018, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Callaway-Allee Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at www.callawayallee.com