Community mourns loss of longtime educator


ROBERTSDALE, Alabama -- James “Bud” Calloway Jr., who taught for three decades at Robertsdale High School, is being remembered as being tough, but fair, someone who always wanted to get the best out of his students.

A longtime resident of Robertsdale, Calloway died Sunday, March 3. A celebration of life was held Monday, March 11 at the PZK Hall in Robertsdale.

“We worked together for 30 years,” said fellow RHS teacher Roy Dyess. “He was always strictly professional. He had a reputation for being strict, but he was just someone who wanted to get the most out of his students.”

Steven Grant, who is now an assistant principal at RHS, worked alongside Calloway and was one of his students, graduating from RHS in 1982.

“I had the privilege of being one of his students and of working alongside him as a teacher,” Grant said. “He was one of those teachers that other students talked about, so you came into his class kind of dreading it, but once you got into his class, you realized it wasn’t so bad and that he truly cared. He just expected the best of his students.

“When we got to be seniors, he would tell us that there was a difference between being 12th graders and being seniors. Everyone gets to be a 12th grader simply by earning the credits to get there. You get to be a senior by stepping up and being a leader and he always strived to put us in situations where we learned to be leaders. As an educator at Robertsdale High School, I hope I make the kind of positive impact on students as Mr. Calloway.”

Calloway served in the U.S. Air Force and graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi. He served at Robertsdale High School from 1968 to 1998. After his retirement he owned and operated the “Bookworm” book store for many years.

Survivors include his wife, Nell G. Gandy Calloway, two daughters, Sue Calloway and Dixie Calloway (Richard) Overby; and two grandsons, Derek Overby and Casey Overby.

Arrangements were made by Mack Funeral Home in Robertsdale.

Information provided by Mack Funeral Home with additional reporting by Onlooker co-editor John Underwood.