Shirley India Deats Callaway, 85
MILFORD, DE – Shirley Callaway passed away peacefully at her home on November 15, 2021. She lived a long and joyous life, filled with family, gardening, sewing, organizing events with her children, and extensive travelling, as the family moved to many different locations inside and outside the U.S. Shirley’s family looks back fondly on the way she worked to make each place they moved feel like home. Wherever the Callaway family went, she held fast to family traditions, but carried with her a sense of adventure and curiosity--valued traits that remain with her children today.
Shirley was born on May 11, 1936 to the late Catherine (Calhoun) and Roy Deats in Warwick, MD. A graduate of Caesar Rodney High School (1954) in Camden-Wyoming, DE, her scholastic performance and deep involvement in 4H earned her a scholarship to attend the University of Delaware (1958). Following college graduation, Shirley married her high school sweetheart, Ken Callaway, and worked for several years for the former Bank of Delaware and Delaware Electric Cooperative before raising her children.
As a family, the Callaways lived in Delaware, Argentina, Louisiana, Illinois, and Maryland. In 1976, the family moved to New Jersey where Shirley supported Ken’s international civil engineering career and her children’s activities with intelligence, kindness, and creativity. She served in many volunteer positions for sports and community organizations, including as the organizer for her sons’ Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop (5) Verona, NJ annual flea market, which became a much anticipated event each June. Shirley held particularly fond memories of the work she did as a teenage carhop for the Kirby & Holloway diner in Dover, DE, as well as sewing flags at Annin Flag Company formerly in Verona, NJ.
In 2012, Shirley and Ken returned to Delaware, where she enjoyed spending time with family and friends, always looking forward to reunions with extended family and classmates. She fulfilled her lifelong love of gardening by serving for many years as a volunteer and board member for the Reeves-Read Arboretum of Summit, NJ and as a member of the Milford Garden Club.
Shirley is survived by her husband of 63 years (Ken Callaway) and three children, Craig Callaway of Rostraver, PA, Dwight Callaway (Dee) of Bentonville, AR, and Cassandra Allwell (Chris) of Sudbury, MA. She is survived by her brother Ralph Deats (Fran) of Dover, DE and preceded in death by her sister Barbara (Deats) Powell. Shirley is also survived by four much-loved grandchildren (Ethan, Aiden, Sydney, and Thomas) and many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to a memorial service at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 27, 2021 at Rogers Funeral Home in Milford. Visitation prior to the service will begin at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to Delaware Hospice.