Calvin Joseph McCullough
1930 - 2020
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Calvin Joseph McCullough

Collierville - Calvin Joseph McCullough, 90, of Collierville, TN, passed away on August 4, 2020 surrounded by his family at Baptist Trinity Hospice House. Calvin was born in Elbridge, Tennessee on February 23, 1930 to Mary Bell Adams McCullough and Thomas Hassell McCullough. His family later moved to Hornbeak, TN. He graduated from Hornbeak High School. He had fond memories of Hornbeak High where he served as President of his senior class of twelve and excelled in basketball, being named an All-State player. He enjoyed sharing memories of growing up in West Tennessee.

Calvin told the story of farming cotton when the college recruiter visited him and Calvin readily replied "sign me up" entering the University of Tennessee Junior College at Martin. After two years in Martin, he completed his Bachelors of Science at Mississippi State University in 1952. Upon returning home, his mother presented him with a "Greetings" letter from President Truman inviting him to join the Korean War. Calvin proudly served in the United States Army until 1954 receiving an Honorable Discharge after achieving the rank of Sergeant. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal.

After the Army, he married Margaret Roach, a nurse, and they settled in St. Louis, MO. There they welcomed their first child and Calvin worked as a claims adjuster for Liberty Mutual. Later the family would move to Memphis where Calvin would continue his work with Liberty Mutual. In Memphis, they would welcome two more children. With a growing family to support, Calvin enrolled in night classes at Southern University Law Center, while working full-time. He graduated law school in May 1962. As the first in his family to attend college, he was proud that his Father was able to attend his Law School graduation before he passed away a few months later.

Calvin began practicing law in Memphis and was humbled to be invited to join the law firm of Wilkes, Neely and Evans. Mr. Carlton Wilkes, another West Tennessee native took Calvin under his wing. Mr. Wilkes taught Calvin how to connect with a jury and the art of litigation. Calvin spent more than fifty-five years practicing law. He loved the law, the legal system and jury trials. He saw the practice of law as a way to help and serve others. He was a true advocate and consummate professional.

After the sudden passing of his wife, Margaret, in 1982, he would later marry Nancy McCullough.

Calvin was always an active member of his church. He first joined LeClair Baptist Church where he raised his family. He served as a deacon, a Sunday School teacher, and on various committees throughout the years. It was a tremendous joy for him to serve others through these roles. Calvin later joined Collierville First Baptist Church where he continued his active involvement in church activities. He was an active member and joyfully served as a leader of his senior Sunday School class.

Calvin was an avid follower of college sports, especially basketball. He especially liked to watch University of Memphis, Duke, Syracuse, University of Kansas and the University of Tennessee where his son and grandsons graduated.

Calvin was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret Roach McCullough. Blessed with a large family, Calvin was also preceded in death by all of his siblings including three sisters: Bobbie Cranford, Louise Dodson Alexander, and Pauline Bullion; and seven brothers: Bill, Leon, Clyde, T.C., Raymond, Thomas and Franklin McCullough. He was also preceded in death by four other siblings who died as infants.

Those left to cherish his memory are his children: Barbara Wagner (Chris) of Germantown, TN, Dr. Eddie McCullough of Leawood, KS, and Lois Shatzer (John) of Jonesboro, AR; his grandchildren: Judge Mary L. Wagner (Tom Owen) of Germantown, TN, John Christian (Jack) Wagner II (Juliet) of Germantown, TN, Adam Reid McCullough (Shannon Halligan) of Chicago, IL, Dr. Mathew Calvin McCullough (Lauren) of Houston, TX, Andrew McCullough Wagner (Deborah) of Charlotte, NC, Stephen Miles Shatzer (Madison) of Fort Worth, TX, David Heath Shatzer of Little Rock, AR and Christopher Alan Shatzer of Jonesboro, AR.

Also, bringing much delight to his life are his great-grandchildren Thomas Benjamin Owen, Maeve Katherine McCullough, William David Owen, John Christian Wagner III (Tripp) and he was eagerly awaiting the arrival of another great-granddaughter in January 2021.

Memorials may be sent to Collierville First Baptist Church Senior Ministry, 830 New Byhalia Rd, Collierville, TN 38017; St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Drive, Memphis, TN 38105 or Memphis Union Mission, 383 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38105.

Due to COVID-19, a private memorial service was held with immediate family.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Commercial Appeal from Aug. 8 to Aug. 9, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
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Memories & Condolences
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14 entries
September 23, 2020
Mr.McCullough was in the Hospital the same time my father was admitted. He was a Dear friend of my father. He would call our office many times to talk to my Dad about other Attorneys. And I know his family is going to miss him as I am missing my father now also. My father was in a small legal fraternity of Lawyers in Memphis that represented many people that were without the means to hire an Attorney, and Mr. Calvin McCullough and Mr. Carlton Wilkes were part of that fraternity of Lawyers. When Mr. McCullough called me, and ask to help his granddaughter, Judge Mary Wagner in her re-election bid, I replied whole heartedly, and She won and the Precinct I worked at in that hot summer day she carried it and I was honored. So I am going to miss the conversations with Mr. McCullough he was an honorable man and a very nice respected Lawyer. I am glad I was invited and me and my dad made it to his 90th birthday party.
Lewis Garrison Jr.
August 24, 2020
a great friend for 60 years, just like a brother my heart goes out to family, especially his wife of 30 some years,
Dewey Robbins
August 17, 2020
My prayers and sincere condolences go out to the entire family.. Barbara, I’m so so sorry.. My heart breaks for you and everyone else.. Your precious Dad was always there for my dear parents and myself...There are not enough words to say how much I admired your dear Dad from our childhood and growing up ..
He’s with the rest of my precious Family in Heaven.. May he Rest In Peace..
Connie Starnes Bradley
August 11, 2020
Barbara, Eddie, and Lois, how my heart aches for you as I read of the loss of your precious dad who was one month older than my dad. But how I smile as I read the names of your families and imagine how very proud he, and you, must be! While I always enjoyed the company of Barbara and Lois, it was no secret that Eddie was one of my dearest friends. What laughter we shared preparing music for the services at Leaclair week after week for years! It’s been about 35 years since I’ve seen any of you, but I think of you often. I will especially pray for you today that precious memories will fill the hole in your hearts. Love to all...Lisa
Lisa This
August 11, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Reba Onsby
August 11, 2020
will rember His little smile and His kind ways. so sorry for your Loss.
Reba Onsby
August 11, 2020
Barbara, I have fond memories of your dad, and I believe the last time I saw you you said he was still going to the office! He certainly did connect with juries, and was well-liked by all. Regards, Sally Workman Todd, Court Reporter (retired)
Sally Workman Todd
August 11, 2020
Calvin was a life long friend of my family, Ralph and Irene Foster always talked about Calvin and what a great man he was. I had the pleasure to visit with Calvin on numerous occasions. My deepest sympathy to all the fAmily and friends.
Debbie Young
August 10, 2020
Having been married to our sister, Nancy Pauline, for 34 years Calvin loved being with our large Alabama family. So many of those he loved are gone now. Calvin will be telling all his favorite stories.
We made so many memories and he loved when our cousin was named head coach at UT. We took them with us to several Alabama games.
Due to the virus we could not be there to show our respect; however our thoughts were there.
RIP Calvin

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away”
Dollie Pruitt Brown
August 10, 2020
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
Staff of Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery
August 9, 2020
I am George Whitworth, Attorney. Early in my career in the spring of 1964, the Insurance law firm I was working for had a case with Carlton Wilkes, and they sent me to the old Exchange Building to get a not so friendly order signed by Mr. Wilkes. Mr. Wilkes was a very likeable, charismatic , personal injury lawyer. He took me around for a grand tour of his office with wall to wall framed memorabilia of his iconic jury verdicts. Then he gave me a long fatherly talk as a young lawyer wet behind my ears about how lawyers should never make personal attacks against their fellow attorney adversaries. It was about same that time that I first met Calvin and Anne Neely, one of the very few female attorneys at that time. I must say that I never ever forgot that meeting and the advice. I was also introduced to Ms. Neely and Calvin for the first time. For the rest of my 50 year plus career I have always had fond memories of that meeting . I never got to know Ms. Neely very well, but it was the beginning of a lifetime respect for and a professional friendship with Attorney, Calvin McCullough.

My sincere condolences to his family.

George Whitworth
George Whitworth
August 9, 2020
I worked for the law firm of Wilkes, Neely & McCullough fresh out of high school from 1969 until 1974. Calvin was always a joy to work for. He was professional without being standoffish, friendly without being offensive. I had so much respect for him. He was instrumental in developing my skills not only as an office assistant, but skills that would serve me well in my later career. I got the opportunity to tell him how much I appreciated his guidance when I spoke to him a few years ago. I'm so thankful for that. Rest in peace, "McCully".
Donnie Andrew Stevens Grisham
August 8, 2020
Mr. McCullough was a special man! And he was the only one to call me Bobbie. I have fond memories of conversations with him any time he was in the bank. Please know I am thinking of the family and wishing them peace during this hard time.
Barbara Robbins
August 8, 2020
It was an honor to be considered a friend, and I know that my husband enjoyed all the visits they shared. I am so happy and grateful to have celebrated his last birthday with him and his family.
sharon Kustoff
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