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Wallace J. Callan

Wallace J. Callan Obituary
WALLACE J. CALLAN Wallace J. Callan, affectionately known to friends and family as Wally, was seventeen when he talked his mother into signing a waiver so he could join the navy and fight for his country in World War II. After serving on the battleship USS Alabama for most of his two-and-a-half-year stint, he returned to his hometown of San Diego, finished high school, and married his bride of seventy-one years, Doris Kenyon. Wally and Doris raised three boys, Steven, Kenneth, and Matthew, while Wally pursued two careers -- first as a San Diego fireman, then as a wildlife protection officer for the California Department of Fish and Game. Warden Callan's first assignment was board-ing officer on the patrol boat Marlin, out of Seal Beach. After two years of patrolling California's magnificent Channel Islands, he transferred to Orland, where he chased fish poachers and wildlife outlaws from 1960 to 1970. One of Wally's more precarious assignments during those years was working under cover to crack a commercial deer-poaching ring in the Redding area. Always eager to discover new territory and try new things, Warden Callan trans-ferred to the North Coast in 1971. A few years later, he promoted to patrol captain and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. Wally completed his eventful career as the Department of Fish and Game's law enforcement supervisor for all of Southern California. Retiring in 1982, Wally and Doris moved back to Northern California, where their three sons had grown up. Steve had followed in his father's footsteps and become a wildlife protection officer for the Department of Fish and Game. Ken owned and operated a successful financial-planning business based in Chico. Matt became a helicopter pilot and rose to the rank of captain in the U.S. Coast Guard. Wally and Doris spent their retirement living in Chico and Redding --traveling the world, fishing, golfing, and playing tennis. For a while, Wally wrote a popular outdoor column for the Chico Enterprise-Record. Tragedy struck shortly after the turn of the century, when son Ken was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. He would pass away in September 2010. Wally was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a few years later, courageously per-severing until January 27, 2018, when he passed away at the age of 91. "The last ten years weren't exactly a bowl of cherries," Wally was often heard saying, "but the rest was an adventure most people could only dream of." Wally is survived by his wife, Doris; sons Steven (Kathy) and Matthew; eight grandchildren; and nine great-grandchild-ren. A private family service is planned at the Northern California Veterans Cemetery in Igo. If you would like to honor Wally's memory, the family recommends a donation to Alzheimer's Disease Research.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Feb. 4, 2018
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