Charles ‘Chillie’ Callman, who served two long stints as Rumson’s mayor in a lifetime filled with volunteerism and public service, died on July 30, according to an obituary published Sunday in the Asbury Park Press.
Here’s the full obituary:
Charles S. “Chillie” Callman, the popular former long-time Rumson Mayor and Councilman, passed away peacefully at his Rumson home on Monday, July 30th, surrounded by his loving family. He was 95 years old. Born in New York in 1917, Charles S. “Chillie” Callman grew up in Bronxville, New York, graduated cum laude from The Lawrenceville School and graduated with honors from Princeton University. Chillie is also a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Institute and the New York Institute of Finance. He retired as a Vice President of Kidder Peabody and Company, Inc. of New York City, where he was the investment banking representative of the Visiting Nurse Association of New York, among other clients. Charles S. “Chillie” Callman moved to Rumson with his family in 1947 and he has volunteered his services ever since. He was a past president of the Forrestdale School PTA and an Elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Rumson. Chillie was a member of the Rumson Zoning Board of Adjustment and a long-time member of the Borough Planning Board. He was the first chairman of the Rumson Conservation Commission and was also the chairman of the Municipal Public Service Coordinating Committee, which was formed years ago to represent Rumson and seven neighboring towns in public utility and transportation matters. Chillie was also the first Rumson representative to the Navesink River Municipality Committee, which was created to safeguard our beautiful Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers. Chillie Callman was very proud to be an honorary member of the Rumson First Aid Squad and the Oceanic Hook and Ladder Fire Company. Chillie was also an original member of the Two Rivers Council of Mayors, which includes Rumson and eleven surrounding communities, along with Fort Monmouth. He also devoted much of his free time helping the Community YMCA in Red Bank. During the 2nd World War, he volunteered his services to the war effort by working in a manufacturing plant in Long Island; supplying much needed munitions and supplies to our military around the world. Charles S. “Chillie” Callman was first appointed to the Rumson Borough Council on June 12, 1958, a position he held until he was elected to his first term as Mayor where he served from 1962 through 1967. Chillie then stepped down from the Borough Council and served as Chairman of the Borough Planning Board from 1968 to January 1, 1974 when he was asked by Mayor John O. Teeter to rejoin the Borough government as Councilman, where he served with distinction once again. On October 12, 1989, Chillie Callman answered the call for his town and agreed to serve once again as Rumson’s Mayor upon the retirement of Mayor Charles F. Paterno, M.D. Chillie served in this important office until his retirement on December 31, 2003. He represented his beloved Borough with honor, pride and dignity for all those years as Mayor plus his 19+ years as Councilman where he served as Fire and First Aid Commissioner, and later as Police Commissioner. During Charles S. Callman’s time as Councilman and Mayor, many noteworthy projects and improvements took place in Rumson. Some are as listed: Piping Rock Park, Rogers Park and Meadow Ridge Park were acquired and developed for the use and enjoyment of the community and guests. A new sanitary sewer system was installed in the entire Borough, 5.2 sq. miles. Cable television service became available to Rumson residents in 1981 and it has been expanded and upgraded with each franchise renewal contract as new technology became available. The very successful Rumson Endowment Fund was formed and Mayor Callman was a founder and proponent of establishing this fund for the betterment of Rumson. Rumson’s first Master Plan was adopted in 1978. This document is updated by the Borough Planning Board every six or seven years. A major road paving and drainage improvement program was started in 1994 and continues today to keep Rumson’s 133 streets and utilities in good working condition. Rumson has achieved and maintained an Aa1 bond rating from Moody’s Investors Service for it’s sound financial condition. Rumson was designated as a Bicentennial Community in 1976 by the State of New Jersey. Rumson was designated as a certified Tree City U.S.A. community since the program’s inception in recognition of Rumson’s shade tree maintenance and replacement program. Rumson’s recycling plan was established in 1988 and it is considered one of the finest in the State. Through persistent efforts of the Mayor and Council, the state and federal governments dredged the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers and their tributaries starting in 1988. An open space program was developed by the Borough, and the family of Henry D. Mercer, in 1974, generously donated the beautiful 14 acre Mercer field located on Rumson Road adjacent to Widgeon Road, to preserve the property and its unobstructed view of the river from development. In addition, Monsignor James Kelley donated his 6 acre island in the Shrewsbury River to Rumson to be preserved as a wildlife sanctuary. The Rumson Road historic cemetery, was restored as a result of the impressive Eagle Scout project by Jonathan Erwin, and is now maintained by the Borough. In 1998, the Borough Council dedicated the municipal courtroom at Borough Hall as the “Charles S. Callman Hall.” Chillie tried to talk them out of doing this, but he was outnumbered. The Keith McHeffey Foundation, through the Rumson Endowment fund, funded the complete renovation of the Piping Rock Park softball field, parking lot, tot lot and landscaping plan, as well as a new yard-arm flag pole and a beautiful monument dedicated to Keith McHeffey and all the other area residents who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. On September 18, 2003, the Rumson Borough council adopted a “resolution of Appreciation” in honor of Mayor Charles S. “Chillie” Callman’s long-time, dedicated service to Rumson. An excerpt of the resolution reads as follows: “Whereas, Mayor Charles S. “Chillie” Callman has received numerous awards over the years, including the “elected official of the Year” in 1994 given by the Eastern Monmouth County Chamber of Commerce; the Mayor has also received the “Great Humanitarian Award” in 1999 given by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and he received the 2000 “Community YMCA Foundation Board of Trustees Award For Strong Communities’; he was also inducted into the New Jersey League of Municipalities Elected Officials Hall of Fame; and “Whereas, Charles S. “Chillie” Callman’s record of public service speaks for itself. He is the most dedicated, extraordinary volunteer public servant in the history of the Borough. Chillie Callman’s dedication and love for Rumson and its residents are unequalled; his integrity, courageous leadership, intelligence, compassion and sense of humor have earned him the great respect and affection of his colleagues, the Borough employees, the volunteer Fire Department and First Aid Squad and the residents of Rumson; and “Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved that the Borough Council of the Borough of Rumson hereby acknowledges by resolution the forty and one-half (40 ½) years of dedicated, volunteer public service of Charles S. “Chillie” Callman as Councilman and Mayor par excellence of Rumson and we hereby extend our utmost appreciation of his able leadership and courage that he has steadfastly demonstrated during his tenure as Rumson’s Mayor and “Be It Further Resolved that a copy of this Resolution be spread upon the minutes of this meeting held on September 18, 2003, and a certified copy thereof, suitably engrossed and framed, be presented to Mayor Charles S.”Chillie” Callman on behalf of the members of the Borough Council and the residents of Rumson with our utmost respect, affection, appreciation and best wishes to this great man who deserves to be known as “Mr. Rumson.” We wish Chillie and his wife, Lee, a happy, healthy and well-deserved retirement.” Upon Mayor Callman’s retirement, Ann Rossbach, the president of the RFH Board of Education, called Chillie the quintessential mayor, and he is. Chillie Callman was a member of the Rumson Country Club, the Sea Bright Beach Club, the Sea Bright Lawn Tennis & Cricket Club, The Rootbeer and Checkers Club, The Fat Men, the YMCA in Red Bank, the Rumson Ramp Club and the Pistol Club.
Chillie Callman was predeceased by his parents and his first wife Portia. He is survived by his wife, Lee (Emily) Birdsall Callman; his children, Patricia and Peter Morse, Charles S. “Chuck” Callman, Jr., Portia “Midge” Murphy, Amy Johnson Swanson and husband John, Elizabeth Ann “E.A.” Buck and husband Michael Norman, Raymond F. Johnson, III; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
On behalf of Chillie Callman and his entire family, we wish to sincerely thank all his doctors and the wonderful caregivers for their professional service.
Visitation will be held at the Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St., Red Bank, NJ on Monday, August 13th, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM. There will be a funeral service on Tuesday, August 14th, 11:00 AM at St. George’s by the River Church, 7 Lincoln Ave., Rumson. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made in his memory to the First Presbyterian Church of Rumson, the Rumson EMS or to St. George’s by the River Church.