Robert Paul Callender, formerly of Ashtabula, OH, and Lakeland, FL, died December 30, 2017, at Hospice of Citrus County and the Nature Coast, Florida.
Born Feb. 17, 1924, in Paris, TN, to Paul R. and Laura L. Callender, Robert graduated from Edgewood High School and joined the Merchant Marines. He served four years during World War II in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Mediterranean, achieving the rank of Chief Steward. On April 10, 1948, he married Florence Cerbin. They celebrated 68 years of marriage before she preceded him in death on November 20, 2016.
In addition to farming, general contracting, and owning a par 3 golf course on Austinburg Road for many years, Robert worked for the Ashtabula Bow Socket Company for 30 years. He and his wife, Florence, founded and operated the Callender Insurance Agency with offices in Geneva and Mentor before their retirement in the 1990s.
He was a thirty-second degree Mason and member of the F&AM; Rising Sun #22 Lodge of Ashtabula; the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Eliadah Lodge of Perfection, Cleveland; and El Kadir Grotto, serving as Monarch in 1969. Before retiring to Florida full-time, Robert was active with St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Ashtabula, serving on the vestry and instigating and organizing an annual community Thanksgiving dinner. He continued his service to the church in Lakeland, FL, where he and Florence served on various committees at St. Stephens Episcopal Church. Robert headed up St. Stephens' monthly chili supper for the homeless of the area.
Known for his generous spirit, quick wit, and ready laugh, Robert enjoyed golfing, fishing, bowling, and hosting dinner parties and fish frys for his many friends. He and Florence enjoyed traveling together, and explored much of Europe and North America, in addition to cruising the Panama Canal.
He is survived by four children: Paul (Denise) Callender of Ashtabula, Margaret (William) Davis of Beverly Hills, FL, Robert (Joyce) Callender of Hernando, FL, and Laura (Robert Barrall) Callender of Dover, FL; five grandsons; two great-grandsons; and three great-granddaughters.
Services will be at 11 am on Saturday, January 13, at Holy Faith Episcopal Church, 19924 W. Blue Cove Dr., Dunnellon. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children, 12502 USF Pine Drive, Tampa, FL 33612.
Published on January 2, 2018