Dr. Jerry Chalmers McCall passed away on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2007, at his home in Baton Rouge, with his family by his side. Dr. McCall is survived by his wife, Margaret; three daughters and sons-in-law, Betsy and Greg Anderson, Lynn and David Aldridge, and Kim and Joe Miller; sister, Mary MacCauley; and brother, Ned. Jerry, a native of Oxford, Miss., graduated from Ole Miss in 1951, and the University of Illinois in 1959 with a Ph.D. in mathematics. His grandfather, E.C. Huffaker, worked with the Wright brothers and developed the Huffaker Glider in 1896, displayed in the Smithsonian. Huffaker was a great influence on his grandson's life and career. Dr. McCall's career highlights included helping develop one of the first four computers at the University of Illinois. He later worked in industry and the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency in the application of large computers to various engineering problems. In 1960, he became assistant to Dr. Wernher von Braun, director of the Manned Lunar Landing Program. In 1963, he became deputy director of Research and Development at all NASA laboratories in Huntsville, which employed more than 5,000 employees, to develop the first rocket to fly to the moon. After leaving Huntsville, Dr. McCall served as the executive vice chancellor of Ole Miss for several years before moving in 1976 to Gulfport, Miss., where he became the director of the NOAA Data Buoy Center in Bay St. Louis, Miss. Dr. McCall lived in Gulfport for 31 years. He served multiple terms as chairman of the Federal United Givers Fund. He was an active member of the Yacht Club, the Gulfport Rotary Club and the Bayou Bluff Tennis Club. A member of Who's Who in America, Jerry contributed greatly to mankind, but he was first and foremost a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather who will be missed by all. Visitation at Resthaven Funeral Home, 11817 Jefferson Highway, on Friday, Sept. 7, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Visitation will continue at the funeral home on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 1 p.m. until memorial service at 2 p.m., conducted by the Rev. Larry O'Dell. In lieu of flowers, a donation to Hospice or the charity of your choice would be appreciated.
Published in The Advocate from Sep. 6 to Sep. 7, 2007.