Rev. Don Callen, 82, of Rochester, died peacefully in his home Saturday, July 19, 2014, after a three-month struggle with pancreatic cancer. His body has been donated to the Mayo Medical Clinic.
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A celebration of his remarkable life, followed by a light luncheon, will be held Friday, July 25, at 1 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church, the Rev. Charles Luers of Humbolt, Iowa, UMC officiating.
Don was born Aug. 9, 1931, in Shreveport, La., to James and Mabel Callen. Don worked in the Shreveport Fire Department and post office until drafted out of the National Guard, to serve as a cryptographer in the Far East Command United Nations Headquarters during the Korean War. Upon discharge, he earned a bachelor of arts degree at Centenary College, and answered a call to ministry by earning a Master of Divinity, and Master of Christian Education degree at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colo. For 34 years, Rev. Don Callen served in the Iowa Conference, in the parishes of St. Ansgar, Keota, Eagle Grove, Storm Lake and Ottumwa. Rev. Callen also served as the district superintendent of the Sioux City District for six years.
Don was united in marriage to Addie Claire Ensminger on June 28, 1957. The union was blessed with the births of Donald Jr., Charlene and Catherine.
Upon retiring to Rochester, Don and Claire provided communion for the home-bound and made hospital visitations. Don also worked actively with Interfaith Hospitality Network. Don, a self-proclaimed "geriatric jock," was very active in organized softball, playing past his 75th birthday. Don played competitive league tennis for the entirety of his adult life, until his death. Don also enjoyed competitive table tennis, hunting, the outdoors, bicycle riding and working out.
Don's undaunted sense of humor stayed with him until the end.
Don is survived by Don Jr. (Joan) of Waukesha, Wis., Charlene (Jim) Gager of Smithville, Mo., and Cathy (David) Krieger of Decorah, Iowa; nine grandchildren, Bryan, Kyle and Grace Callen, Matthew and Michelle Gager, Alicia (Brad) Dixon of Eyota, Amber (Jake) Fogle of Pleasant Prairie, Wis., and Angela and Adam Krieger; and two great-grandsons, Oliver Dixon and Gavin Fogle.
Don was preceded in death by Claire, his parents and granddaughter, Ashlee Lynn Krieger.
Don asks that memorial donations may be made to Parkinson's research.
Published in The Post-Bulletin on July 22, 2014