Howard H. “Bo” Callaway
Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:06pm admin
Howard H. “Bo” Callaway, age 86, died peacefully surrounded by his family on Saturday, March 15 at Spring Harbor Assisted Living in Columbus, Ga. Mr. Callaway, son of Cason Jewell and Virginia Hand Callaway was born in LaGrange, Ga., on April 2, 1927. A second generation Harris County, Ga., citizen, Mr. Callaway lived in many places during his lifetime but always loved his Harris County heritage. His early education was in the Harris County School System, where he met his beloved Laura Elizabeth “Beth” Walton in the sixth grade at Hamilton Grade School. They married on June 11, 1949. He attended Georgia Institute of Technology and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. After a distinguished military career, which included time serving as a platoon leader in Korea, Mr. Callaway returned to Pine Mountain, Ga., to assist his parents with the creation of Callaway Gardens. This 6,500-acre woodland garden, which features gardens, resort amenities, a preserve and a community, is owned and operated by the 501c3 Ida Cason Callaway Foundation (ICCF) and is dedicated to environmental education and land stewardship. He served in leadership positions at the Gardens from 1953 through 2003, at which time he became chairman emeritus. Intertwined within his life’s work at the Gardens, he set his sights on a political career which included a seat in the U. S. House of Representatives for Georgia’s 3rd congressional district, which made him the first Republican elected from Georgia since the Reconstruction era. He later was defeated in the highly contested 1966 run for Georgia Governor in a three-way run-off situation. Had he won, he would have been the first Republican Governor in Georgia since 1872. He later served in positions such as director of Freedoms Foundation, a Georgia Republican national committeeman, Richard Nixon’s southern coordinator during the 1968 presidential campaign, Secretary of Army under Presidents Nixon and Ford during which time he was instrumental in the post-Vietnam transition from the draft to the all-volunteer army, and served as campaign manager for Ford’s 1976 election. The Callaways owned Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado from 1970 until 2004. During their time in Colorado, Mr. Callaway was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for the U. S. Senate. From 1981 to 1987, he served as the chairman for the Colorado Republican Party and was head of the political action committee GOPAC. In addition to his political, mi l i tary, and professional accomplishments, he served in a multitude of positions related to citizenship, politics, education and various industries. He was particularly proud to be part of the Young Presidents’ Organization and Rotary. In addition to his love for Callaway Gardens, Mr. Callaway had multiple interests. He was a rabid fan of baseball to the point he created a program for talented yet economically-challenged baseball players, Opportunities Through Baseball, which was later acquired by Major League Baseball, and started a summer collegiate baseball woodbat team, the Woodbats. His passion for nature and the Crested Butte area led him to re-establish the threatened Clinton Cutthroat Trout. His boat, the O Be Joyful, was a favorite pastime and one that he relished sharing with his family. He shared all of these amazing accomplishments with his beloved wife by his side. Interestingly, both had earned their private pilots license. Mr. Callaway was preceded in death by his wife Laura Elizabeth “Beth” Walton Callaway, his brother Cason J. (Nancy) Callaway Jr. and his brother-in-law Ralph (Martha) Walton. He is survived by his five children; Elizabeth “Betsy” Callaway (Terry) Considine of Denver, Colo.; Howard H. “Bo” (Allyn) Callaway Jr. of Bristol, Va.; Edward C. (Lynn) Callaway of Hamilton, Ga.; Virginia Callaway (Roger) Martin of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Ralph W. (Camilla) Callaway of Columbus, Ga.; 16 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren with three on the way. Funeral services were held March 19. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial contributions be made to the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation, c/o Callaway Gardens, P.O. Box 2000, Pine Mountain, Ga. 31822. Arrangements are by Striffler-Hamby Mortuary, 4071 Macon Rd, Columbus, Ga. 31907, (706) 563-2372. Visit www.shcolumbus.com to share your condolences.