John Holmes Callen Jr., 83, passed away peacefully on June 9 in Red Bank. John, who was called Lucky by family and friends from his earliest days, was born in East Orange in 1932. He grew up in Essex Fells, and graduated from the Lawrenceville School in 1950. He attended Princeton University and graduated from Trinity College in 1955 and was a devoted alumnus to all of his schools. Lucky was an outstanding prep school and college athlete in several sports: soccer, hockey and baseball. After college, Lucky served his country in the United States Marine Corps from 1955 to 1958 and attained the rank of Second Lieutenant.
On July 14, 1956, Lucky wed Carolyn Coleman, of Rumson, and their long and happy marriage was nearing its 60th anniversary. Lucky is survived by his wife – Lyn; his children – Paige Callen James and her husband, Thomas James, of Charlotte, North Carolina; John H. Callen III (Chip) of Newbury, New Hampshire; Lindsey Callen Strong and her husband, Peter Strong, of Wenham, Massachusetts; and J. Hunter Callen of Newbury, New Hampshire; and his grandchildren – Sarah James Barone, Thomas James, Jr., William James, Dorothea Callen, and Parker, Benjamin and Callen Strong. Lucky is also survived by his brothers – Merrill Callen of Mooresville, North Carolina; Daniel Callen of Ooltewah, Tennessee; Andrew Callen of Concord, Massachusetts; and Brock Callen of Chilmark, Massachusetts.
Lucky had a very successful and varied career. After the Marine Corps, he joined Burlington Industries and worked there for 20 years reaching the position of President of its Sportswear Division, the company’s largest. He later joined Ward Howell International, an executive recruiting firm, as a partner and later became the firm’s President. He worked at Ward Howell for 20 years and led it through many years of growth and mergers with other firms. After retiring in 1992, Lucky and Lyn founded and operated Mettowee Valley Farm in Pawlet, Vermont breeding and raising alpacas.
Lucky was always very active athletically and in the communities where he lived. He was a member of the Dorset Field Club and the United States Seniors Golf Association and was a former member of the Seabright Beach Club, the Sea Bright Lawn Tennis and Cricket Club, the Ekwanok Country Club, and the Rumson Country Club, where he was a 20-year board member and vice president. Most recently Lucky had been serving on the board of Oak Harbor, the community in Vero Beach, Florida, where he and Lyn have lived. Lucky and Lyn have also maintained a home in Dorset, Vermont.
Arrangements have been made with Thompson Memorial Home in Red Bank. The family has asked in lieu of flowers, that donations in Lucky’s name be made to American Diabetes Association, Gifford Youth Activities Center, Vero Beach, Florida, or US Seniors Golf Association Memorial Fund.
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