Charles Herman McCall Jr. 77, died April 10, 2013 in Bakersfield, California. He was born June 7, 1935 in Clinton County (Indiana) Hospital to Charles H. McCall Sr. and Martha Elizabeth (McDowell) McCall. He grew up in Frankfort, Indiana. He had no brothers and sisters, but had many cousins in the area, including Fannie Kelley, Mark Kelley, Kevin Kelley, Chris Altherr, Mary Martha Altherr, Joe Altherr, Peter Altherr, Mickie Ann Altherr and Sharon Hinkle. His father preceded him in death in 1962 and his mother in 1984. Martha McCall had moved with Charles to Bakersfield, California, and continued to be a supportive parent until her death – including during his time in Washington, D.C. In addition to his family in Indiana and elsewhere, Dr. McCall leaves behind his close friend Dr. Jacquelyn Kegley and her family, to whom he was an “adopted uncle”; his faculty colleagues and staff in the Department of Political Science, especially Gene Clark, Ray and Cheryl Geigle, Pat and K.T. Towell, and his beloved former students. Dr. McCall was a faithful member of the Mill Creek Christian Church (formerly First Christian Church) in Bakersfield.
Dr. McCall was a founding faculty member who joined then-California State College Bakersfield in 1970 as an associate professor and chair of the Political Science Department. He earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Indiana University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. He taught at Indiana University from 1962-1970. A researcher and specialist in the areas of American government and politics, mass political behavior, political theory and philosophy, and presidential rhetoric, he consulted on survey research for state politicians and was an administrative coordinator for the 1968 Republican National Convention.
In 1976 he served in President Gerald Ford’s administration as Director of the White House Editorial Staff Research Office. He and the research staff were responsible to provide background information for President Ford’s speechwriters on people, places, and issue of concern, and to check the President’s speeches, statements, and White House messaging for accuracy. The Charles H. McCall Files contain 96,700 pages and are located in the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum.
In 1978 Dr. McCall was named an E.C. Reid Professor of Political Science at CSB. He continued to teach until his retirement in 2003. He believed students should have a broad education. Some of his best courses related to the humanities and sciences. Among his favorite courses were Politics in the Novel and Film and Political Philosophy and Thought. In addition to his service as faculty member and department chair, he also was a member of the College Council (Academic Senate) and its executive committee. He was Chair of the Council on Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, the reknown academic center for survey research at the University of Michigan. He chaired the Western Political Science Association’s Committee of Department Chairpersons and was a Special Representative to the American Political Science Association’s Committee on Professional Ethics and Academic Freedom.
Dr. McCall was a long-time avid supporter of CSUB athletics and a familiar presence at men’s and women’s basketball games, always wearing the CSUB blue and gold. He was a member of the Roadrunner Club, served on its board of directors, and was its leading fundraiser for eight different years since 1990. He gave generously to the Roadrunner Scholarship Fund for 23 consecutive years, was a member of the Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory Committee, and co-sponsor of the Kegley-McCall Academic Team Award. While admittedly partial to basketball, he was a fan of all of the teams and was first in his seat, along with colleague and close friend, Dr. Jackie Kegley, for the opening game of Division I baseball at the dedication of Hardt Field.
Dr. McCall’s colleagues also knew him as a magician. He developed an interest in magic as a teenager and this passion grew throughout his life. He performed primarily for children, including those undergoing medical treatment. Although an amateur, he was a member of several professional organizations, including: the Society of American Magicians, Bakersfield Assembly No. 69 (34 years) and an “Order of Merlin” member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (27 years). He was the advisor to the local Magic Club and introduced many interested people to the profession and to his friend, magician Lance Burton. He also was a science fiction aficionado, read Tolkien and collected hobbit memorabilia, enjoyed opera, and traveled extensively for the last seven years with Dr. Jackie Kegley.
Visitation and Services
Services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, April 20, 2013 at Goodwin Funeral Home. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. until time of service at the funeral home. Burial will be in Green Lawn Cemetery. The University President honored Dr. McCall by having the CSUB flag flown at half-staff on the days immediately following his death. A memorial service at the University is planned for early May, and a scholarship will be established in his name. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation the Charles McCall Scholarship.