A funeral Mass will be held Wednesday at noon for Howard “Bo” Callaway at Christ the King Catholic Church in Pine Mountain, Ga.
The former Republican congressman and Secretary of the Army died Saturday at age 86 at Spring Harbor Assisted Living in Columbus, nearly two years after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. He was also well known for helping his parents, Cason and Virginia Hand Callaway, get Callaway Gardens in nearby Pine Mountain, Ga., up and running six decades ago.
A private interment will follow the Mass.
The family will receive friends from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the church, with the Rosary recitation at 7:30 p.m.
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In celebration of Callaway’s life, a memorial organ concert will be held Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel at Callaway Gardens.
Callaway was born in LaGrange, Ga., on April 2, 1927. He developed a yearning for public service at an early age, graduating from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., after two years of studies at Georgia Tech. Callaway’s military service would include leading a platoon in Korea and instructing infantry troops at Fort Benning.
He returned to Georgia in 1953 to take the helm of Callaway Gardens and its nonprofit parent organization, the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation, until 1970. He served in leadership positions at the gardens from 1953 through 2003.
In 1964, Callaway was elected to Congress, becoming the first Republican congressman from Georgia since Reconstruction. He left Congress to run for governor in 1966. Callaway actually received 3,000 more votes than the Democratic nominee, segregationist Lester Maddox, but because former Gov. Ellis Arnall mounted a write-in campaign, no candidate received the majority needed to win.
Since state law did not require runoffs at the time, the Democratic-controlled Legislature selected Maddox as governor.
Still hungry for politics, Callaway was appointed U.S. Secretary of the Army in 1973 and served under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
Callaway is survived by his five children, Elizabeth Callaway Considine, Howard H. “Bo” Callaway Jr., Edward C. Callaway, Virginia Callaway Martin and Ralph W. Callaway, as well as 16 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Striffler-Hamby Mortuary on Macon Road in Columbus.