Elmer Earl 'Cab' Callaway

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Elmer Earl "Cab" Callaway died in Venice, Fla. on Nov. 15, 2009.

He was born on April 29, 1923, in Greencastle. He was the son of Joseph Elmer Callaway and Helen Phelps Callaway.

Cab grew up in Greencastle during the Great Depression, and spent much of his youth in the out of doors hunting, camping, and fishing. He became a self-taught naturalist.

Cab enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps after the attack on Pearl Harbor at the age of 18. Cab was assigned to the First Marine Corps Division under the command of Col. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, and served with courage and distinction in the bloody combat of the victorious Guadalcanal Campaign. He later served in the New Guinea, Cape Gloucester, and New Britain campaigns and received an honorable discharge in 1946.

After the war, Cab married Mary Steele of Huntington, and attended Depauw University. Upon graduation, he began a career as a high school football, basketball, wrestling, and golf coach and biology teacher. He and Mary raised two sons, Rex and Steve. Cab taught and coached in Onarga and Sherrard, Ill. and in Greencastle and Indianapolis.

He was particularly proud of his beloved Onarga Indian football team that was undefeated for three consecutive seasons from 1955 through 1957. Cab ended his career serving as the athletic director of Arlington High School in Indianapolis.

Cab and Mary retired in 1980 and moved to Venice, Fla. and lived there for many happy years playing golf, enjoying fishing vacations in Canada, and beachcombing for shark teeth fossils. In retirement, his creative side was shown by his shark tooth and shell sculptures, which were given as cherished gifts and sold at craft shows.

Following Mary's death in 1993, Cab was remarried to Ruth Genest, and they enjoyed several years of happiness together until her passing.

Cab is survived by his sister Edna Callaway Howlett of Greencastle; his sons Rex his wife Becky and their son Brian of Poway, Calif., and Steve and his wife Karen of Solon, Iowa.

They will miss his strength of character, his love of athletics and the natural world, and his indomitable fighting spirit. He will always be their hero.

A memorial will be held at a later time.

Condolences can be sent to Steve and Rex at coach07@gmail.com.