An anonymous friend, Dan and Bev Fenske, Rocky Montgomery, Debra Sallen,
Carole Leavell and Steve Hartloff, Jeffrey and Diana Sipple, Dennis and Rosalina
Grisco, Evan Turner, Leslie Ashby, Sandra Urosevic, William Barbour, Tom and
Cherie Smylie, and Patrice McCallum
From the moment you met Bob McCallum, you knew you were
in the presence of someone special. He was a gentleman first and foremost.
He had a dignity and caring coupled with an impish Irish sense of humor highlighted by
practical jokes (Bob loved to laugh).
Bob was the essence of the Renaissance man. He loved art, literature, history and
music and was continually redefining himself in reaching for new interests, goals and
challenges. He was a musician, inventor, author, and teacher of special needs children,
devoted body builder and fitness advocate and maker of fine furniture. In falconry, he
made beautiful falconry blocks, cadges, hoods, gauntlets and falconry bags.
When he retired as a special education teacher in 1998, he turned to writing and self-published four novels.
In his heart, since childhood in North Dakota, he carried a passion and love of raptors and falconry. He was
one of the most dedicated, respected and gifted falconers one would ever meet. His birds were well mannered
and handled with admiration, grace and dignity. There was no crazy antics or yelling with his falcons. In the
field, his manner was one of calm and respect for the falcons and quarry. Being with him, it was a though a
gossamer thread existed between earth bound man and the falcon high above. Flying falcons with Bob was
like watching a conductor orchestrating a symphony. He found his greatest joy in flying the difficult quarry of
doves with tiercel falcons.
Robert Eugene McCallum was born February 6, 1937 in Bismarck, North Dakota where he lived his first five
years before moving to Ontario, California in 1942. There he described his childhood at age 12 as “Mayberry-
type” which he shared in his novel “LONG DOG”. After high school, he did a stint in the Army and received
an honorable discharge and then attended LaVerne University in California in 1967 and received degrees in
Biology and Master of Science. As a born entrepreneur, he had successful businesses in
owning a health club, a buckle company and maker of fine furniture. All this coupled
with a passion for falconry and falcons his entire life. He was the first American to take a
falcon to the British Isles to hunt. He invented the “Springhood” and was a trainer and
advisor in 1968 for Disney Studios epic film “Varda on the peregrine.
Bob passed away at the age of 80 in his home in Lincoln, California on April 2, 2017,
surrounded by his beloved family, after a long and courageous battle with pancreatic
cancer. His wife of 32 years, Patrice, sisters Rosemary and Peggy and brother Ted
survives him. He had two sons, Shannon and Robbie, and two step children Cara-Noelle
and Evan, eleven grand children and one great granddaughter.
We in the falconry community can consider it a privilege that such a man was part of it; we are all the richer
for it. I will forever miss him, and as I travel through the rest of my life, I will travel it better for having known
Bob, and he will inspire me to be as much like him as possible. The great ones, like Bob McCallum, are the
rarest of all.
In 43 BC, Roman Senator Marcus Cicer eulogized:
“The life of the dead is placed on the memories of the living,
The love you gave in life keeps people alive beyond their time,
Anyone who gave love will always live on in another’s’ heart.
For those who were privileged to know this extraordinary gentleman will forever have him in their hearts.
by Tom Smylie
Robert Eugene McCallum- Forever in our hearts
In his heart, since childhood he carried
a passion and love of raptors and falconry.
Above: Robert was a trainer and advisor in Disney’s 1968 film “Varda.
Right: Robert holding a cadge.