ELDORADO — Lennie Eugene "Gene" McCalla passed away on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010, to receive his heavenly reward.
He was 91 on May 30, 2010. He was born to G.A. and Lizzie McCalla in Corinth, Miss., in the year 1919. They moved to Santo, Texas, in a covered wagon when he was a young boy.
He grew up with a sister, Sallie, and two brothers, Herbert and George. Gene attended Santo High School where he met the love of his life, Vernell Wheeler, and were married 69 years.
To provide for his family he worked for the Eldorado Woolen Mills for 25 years. There he made Army blankets. Gene served in the U.S. Army in the Philippines from 1942 to 1946. Gene and Vernell then operated McCallas Department Store till 1984.
Gene served Schleicher County as county commissioner for 12 years. The family attended the Church of Christ in Eldorado where he served as an elder for several years.
Among their travels was a trip to the holy land and to Thailand where two grandsons serve as missionaries. Gene and Vernell volunteered in the community in many ways including school reading programs and helping at nursing homes. Gene was also a member of the American Legion and Lion's Club.
Gene is survived by his wife, Vernell; and three daughters Genelle Pennington (husband Sid), Beth Lackey and Mary Lyn Jones (husband Roy); six grandchildren, Russell and Brent Pennington, Cheryl Spell, Kelsey and Kerry Lackey, Lance Jones; and 18 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings; and grandson Levi Jones.
Service was at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 24, at the Mertzon Highway Church of Christ in Eldorado.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made in memory of Gene to the Meals on Wheels organization of Eldorado or to the Schleicher County Public Library (located in the building downtown where McCalla's Department Store was in business for many years.)
Arrangements were by Kerbow Funeral Home in Eldorado.
The family would like to thank the staff at the Rio Concho Terrace and Myrtlewood in San Angelo for their kind and caring service.