On Monday, January 15, 2024, James O. Callecod, Jr. went Home to be with the Lord surrounded by his family. He was born on October 10, 1930 in Terre Haute, Indiana to James O Callecod, Sr. and Mary M. Callecod.
Jim grew up in Chicago Heights, Illinois. His love of the Chicago Cubs started with riding the train to games with his grandpa. He was truly a diehard Chicago Cubs fan rewarded with that 2016 World Series win.
Jim was extremely proud of his service to our country. He enlisted in the Navy in January, 1951 and served aboard the USS Murray (DD/DDE-576), an escort destroyer in the hunter killer force of the 6th Fleet. He was honorably discharged as a Radar man 1st Class in December 1954.
In April, 1952, Jim was introduced to his sister’s neighbor, Joyce R. Buratto, while home on leave. They married on December 28, 1952, spending the next 70 year together, till Joyce’s death in 2022. They had two children, Marshall Glenn and Barbara Anne.
In January 1957, Jim gave his heart and life to the Lord after watching a televised Billy Graham crusade. At the age of 33, he felt called to go into the ministry, graduating from Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, in 1966. In 1967, the family moved to Sturtevant, Wisconsin, where he became the pastor for Calvary Memorial Chapel, now Calvary Baptist Church. In 1986, Jim became the Chaplain at Friendship Village Retirement Community, Milwaukee, and served there until his retirement in 2002.
Jim was known for his love of all genres of music and singing. Say a word or phrase and he would burst into a song. Meet him and he’d sing a song with your name. He had a song in his heart no matter what he was going through. He also had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to tease and joke. He couldn’t pass anyone with a saying a kind word. His love for and dedication to the Lord gave him a special love for the people around him and he couldn’t help but share that love.
Jim is survived by his daughter, Barbara (Joe) Schwarz; grandchildren, John (Bridget) Durfey, Elizabeth (Brian) Kalk, Megan (Steve) LaFeber; great grandchildren, Steven and Melinda LaFeber, Adaelyn, Loraina and Josh Kalk; sister Norma Sherman and brother Robert (Joan) Callecod. He was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce; son, Marshall Glenn, son-in-law, John L. Durfey, Sr.; parents, James O. and Mary Callecod; sister, Betty Wilson.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 22, 2024 at Winn-Cress Funeral Home, 5785 Hwy Q, Waunakee, WI 53597, with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. Following a luncheon, interment will take place at Middleton Junction Cemetery, Madison.
Words are not enough to thank his caring angels at Milestone Senior Living-Stoughton – Emilie, Erica, Laura and Zab, who were there for both him and Joyce, saw Jim through her passing, and loved and cared for him through his last day. Also a heartfelt thank you to the newer caregivers at Milestone who got to experience his singing and joking, and were so tender and caring for him in his last months.
Thank you to Agrace Hospice for their care for Jim and their support for his family in his last few days and to Toni B. for her companionship this past year that brought such joy to his heart.
“Until then my heart will go on singing, until then with joy I’ll carry on. Until the day God calls me Home.” S. Hamblen