Donald McCall

Champagin, Illinois


June 21, 2017
Champagin, Illinois


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Donald C. McCall, 92, of Champaign passed away on June 21, 2017.

He was born February 2, 1925 in Mansfield, IL to Kenneth Wesley and Gladys Belle McCall. He married Rita Jane Mattingly on July 4, 1947 in Urbana. Donald and Rita were parents to four children. Rita preceded him in death in 1975. He later married Helen Wright in 1989, who also preceded him in death in 2008.

Donald is survived by his children, Peggy Campo of Urbana and her husband, Bill; Donald McCall, Jr. of Highland, IL and his wife, Terry; Jeffrey McCall of Greencastle, IN and his wife, Cathy; and Frederic McCall of Webster Groves, MO and his wife, Lynne. Also surviving are grandchildren Charles Campo of Philadelphia, PA; Michael Campo of Urbana; Scott McCall and wife Monica of Highland, IL; Pete McCall and wife Cheryl of Webster Groves, MO; Kevin McCall and wife Michelle of O’Fallon, IL; Steven McCall of Eureka, CA; Jennifer Conrad of St. Louis, MO; and Laine McCall of Webster Groves, MO. Donald’s grandson, Brett McCall, preceded him. Great-grandchildren are Carter, Madalyn and Lilah McCall; Declan and Grace McCall; and Julia and Mark McCall.

He is also survived by many cherished nieces, nephews, and friends including Veronica Lawrence of Champaign, Anna Runck of St. Joseph, and twenty-one shipmates from the USS Indianapolis.

Donald was preceded in death by brother Robert McCall and sister Jean McCall Gagliano. His brothers, William McCall of Champaign, and John Tatman of Las Vegas, NV survive.

Donald was a lifelong resident of east central Illinois. He was a career bricklayer and served as president of the local bricklayers union during the 1960s.

Donald served in the United States Navy during World War II aboard the heavy cruiser, USS Indianapolis. He was an air-sea lookout serving as the USS Indianapolis earned eight battle stars, including action at Tarawa, Marshall Islands, Philippine Sea, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Donald survived the sinking of the USS Indianapolis after it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the closing days of the war. He was one of only 317 sailors who survived the sinking and spent four and a half days adrift on the sea before rescue. Donald was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds inflicted during the sinking and ordeal in the sea.

Donald was a member of the USS Indianapolis Survivors Organization where he served as Master of Arms. He and his family have attended all of the survivors’ reunions since inception of the organization in 1960. Recently Don was honored to be part of the documentary film USS Indianapolis: The Legacy which tells the harrowing story of the Indianapolis and her brave crew.

He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing. He also enjoyed golf, gardening and music.

Donald was a member of St. Matthew Catholic Church in Champaign. At St. Matthew’s, he helped establish the school’s original basketball and baseball programs in the 1960s. His 1967 baseball team reached the Final Four of the state playoffs.

He also coached youth baseball, leading his teams to two Twin City Little League titles and one Babe Ruth Twin City championship.

Visitation will be held at Owens Funeral Home (101 N. Elm St, Champaign) on Sunday, June 25, from 2-4 p.m. Guests will be invited to stay for a short celebration of Don’s life at 4 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, June 26, at 9:30 a.m. at St. Matthew Catholic Church (1303 Lincolnshire Drive, Champaign). Donald will be laid to rest at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Champaign.

Memorial contributions may be made to Cunningham Children’s Home, Education and Recreation Center Fund, 1301 N. Cunningham Avenue, Urbana, IL 61802.

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I was fortunate to have Don McCall as a coach in Little League and at Saint Matthew's for basketball and baseball. (He also coached 3 of my brothers). He loved to win, and was consistently very successful, but always modeled great sportsmanship to boys at an important stage in their development. His teams were always very well prepared and rarely made mental errors..........I've been thinking back in recent years to the many life lessons that revealed themselves through experiences in those...

I'm sure that your USS Indianapolis Shipmates piped you aboard with full honors.

Rest easy, Shipmate. You're relieved. We have the watch.

Andy Harpst
ET1(SW) USN(retired)

I have many happy memories of my uncle and will cherish them forever. Condolences to my cousins, my heart is with you at this time...Love Delinda

Words cannot be found to express our sadness. Someone like Don, you never have enough time to learn from or share a glass of wine with. We first met him as wallflowers wanting to meet Don and all the USS Indianapolis Survivors at their reunions. We wanted to find a way to give back to them - to serve them. We did not expect to receive all that we did from Don. It was so much more than we gave. It wasn't suppose to be that way! The wonderful talks and laughs, he showed such a human tender...

Thanks for coaching so many of my brothers baseball and basketball games.