|Birth: ||Jun. 8, 1941|
|Death: ||Aug. 5, 2009|
Norman Callison, 68, of Winfield, died of bladder cancer at home Aug. 5, 2009, tended by his family and Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice.
In commemoration of his life, you are cordially invited to "The Last Annual Walnut Valley Norman Callison Production: We Remember Daddy." This one-time event will commence at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, at the Winfield High School auditorium, 300 Viking Blvd., with Horsefeathers & Applesauce apple slush and perusal of the Norman Callison museum. The production itself will start at 2:30 and be followed by refreshments.
Norman Dean Callison, "Mr. C," was born June 8, 1941, to Ernest Harry and Ruby Florence Daniel Callison in Winfield. In his formative years, Norman received free passes to the Fox Theatre for exemplary service as a paperboy with the Winfield Daily Courier. The use of these coupons one Saturday afternoon inadvertently kindled Norman's passion for theatre as he sat mesmerized by "There's No Business Like Show Business." Continued interest was nurtured by his theatre involvement while attending Winfield High School, Southwestern College, Emporia State University and the University of Kansas. In addition to educational theatrical experiences, Norman engaged in the practical application of role play every Christmas when he donned a red suit and white beard for the children of Winfield compliments of the Winfield Chamber of Commerce.
Norman taught two years at Topeka High School before accepting the drama position at his Alma Mater, Southwestern College, in 1965. In the spring of 1966, he directed "The Sound of Music," Southwestern's first musical. The following Oct. 25, he married his leading lady, Roxy Ellen Clark, in Miami, Okla.
Mr. Callison was on the founding board of the Winfield Community Theatre and served as mentor, director and actor during its beginning years. In the summers of 1970 and '71, Norman dyed his own beard white and slipped into a red suit to become the youngest leading man ever at North Pole, a Santa theme park at the base of Pikes Peak, Colo. In the spring of 1972, Norman took 14 Southwestern College students to the Pacific on a USO tour for the U.S. State Department, another first for Southwestern College. As part of the fundraising effort for that trip, Norman undertook the first collegiate dinner-theatre in the KCAC. In the summer of 1973, Norman and Roxy created The Walnut Valley Horsefeathers and Applesauce Last Annual Summer Dinner Theatre Programme which ran through the summer of 1978 with Norman as producer.
Having been raised the son of a building contractor, Norman acquired an interest in architecture. In 1971 he began a life-long hobby as he and Roxy purchased the Brown Bungalow, one of Winfield's historic homes in need of care. Norman was still working on it in June of this year!
A desire to travel was instilled in Norman by his parents, as they took many summer excursions. With his own family, he was fortunate to journey through much of America, England, Scotland, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Romania and Israel as a member of the Winfield Oratorio "Elijah" 1984 tour.
When Norman was released from Southwestern in 1978, he worked for his brother, Keith, at the Callison Appraisal Office in Wichita. In 1979, Norman and Roxy embarked on an adventure in restauranteering with Professor Phoggs at Strother Field.
In 1980, Norman accepted a position with USD 465. During his 22-year tenure there, Norman taught English 9 and 10, developed the Vocational English program, expanded the Drama I class into Drama I-IV, team taught Humanities, directed 13 plays and five musicals, did away with confusion when he began as the WHS testing coordinator, pioneered a joint Ark City/Winfield night school, and earned national recognition for the Senior Portfolio Exit Interview program which he established.
Norman's teaching expertise was not confined to the classroom and stage. He was a landlord and apartment manager who guided young people in home care and spending practices that they might eventually have the skills and financial acumen to purchase their own homes.
Although raised in the First Baptist Church, Norman was most recently a member of Grace United Methodist Church.
Mr. Callison is survived by his wife of 42 years, Roxy; the family they created — Amanda, Lael and Avery Porter of Winfield; Jessica, Chris and Courtney Fisher of Wichita; Aggie, Chad, Elizabeth, Kenna and Keira McAlester of Austin, Texas; the family he was born into — which includes two brothers, Keith, and wife Janet Hiatt Callison, of Wichita; Danny, and wife Patty Houtz Callison, of Indiana, and both of their families; plus three Daniel and Callison aunts and a plethora of cousins; the Clark family he married into; the family of friends he chose; the theatre families he established; and the student families who call him "Mr. C."
As his final teaching endeavor, Norman willed his body to the University of Kansas Medical School. Memorials may be made to the USD 465 Foundation.
Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown.
Specifically: University of Kansas Medical School
Created by: Brad and April Jones Den...
Record added: Sep 20, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 42184241
Thank you for your gift.|
Added: Sep. 6, 2011
Norman --- I loved working with you at college and letting our kids grow up together in Winfield. I speak of you often when I tell of cool folks that I know! You made a big impact on my life and you are greatly missed|
Added: Sep. 5, 2011
For Uncle Norman|
Brad and April Jones Denton
Added: Sep. 20, 2009