John Califf

Posted Online: May 03, 2013, 6:34 pm
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John P. Califf, 73, of Rock Island, died on Wednesday, May 1, 2013, at Silver Cross Nursing Center, Rock Island.
A memorial service celebrating John's life will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. John's Lutheran Church, Rock Island. Visitation is 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home, Rock Island. Private inurnment will be at Chippiannock Cemetery, Rock Island. Memorials may be made to St. John's Lutheran Church, Rock Island, Augustana College, Rock Island, or to the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center, Oregon, Ill.
John Paul Califf was born on June 2, 1939, in Moline, the son of Junius and Katharine Steele Califf. He attended Rock Island Schools, Lawrence University, Appleton, Wis., and graduated from Augustana College in 1962. Upon completion of Master of Arts (social work, administration), he was hired at Bethany Home in Moline, as a caseworker and supervisor of the residential program for 24 emotionally disturbed children.
John and Nancy Telleen Califf were married on June 21, 1964, at John's Lutheran Church, Rock Island.
In 1968, they moved to Littleton, Colo., where John worked for Lutheran Family and Children's Services of Colorado and New Mexico for 17 years. He supervised child welfare programs, the Hispanic Community Center in Denver, and the refugee resettlement program. He served as chairman of the Rocky Mountain Adoption Exchange from 1978 to 1982.
In 1985, they moved to Dixon, Ill., where John served as executive director for the Northern Illinois Region of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. John directed a $2 Million capital campaign and supervised child welfare, senior services, Nachusa Lutheran Home and school-based services.
In 1995, they moved to Peoria, Ill., where John served as leader of the management team in Central Illinois for Lutheran Social Services.
In 2001, they moved to Rock Island. John served as the interim director at the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center, Oregon, followed by serving as assistant to the Bishop of the Northern Illinois Synod and was responsible for describing outreach ministries and charitable giving opportunities. John returned to the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center as director of development.
John was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church, Rock Island, a board member of the Quad City Stamp Club, vice president of Transitions Mental Health Board and a member of ILLOWA Lutheran Coalition Clergy and Lay Professionals. He was an active member of the Rock Island Kiwanis Club, where he served as first vice president, board member, program chairman, grants committee chair and was a named a George F. Hixson Fellow of Kiwanis International. John also served as secretary of the Kiwanis Quad City Coordinating Council, member of the Northern Illinois Synod Tanzania Task Force, Danish Mission Hospital (India) Task Force and Northern Illinois Synod Global Mission Committee 2000-2005 trustee and the Lutheran Social Services of Illinois Cornerstone Foundation.
John received several awards and recognitions, in addition to the Hixson honor, they include the Colorado Adoption Professional of the Year, Dixon United Way Volunteer of the Year, Lutheran Outdoor Ministries National Distinguished Service Award, Thrivent Financial Focus on Faith National Award and the Thrivent Financial Greater Iowa Region Volunteer of the Year Award.
He enjoyed reading, travel and stamp collecting. John was a die-hard Chicago Cub fan, amateur photographer, coached and refereed soccer and also enjoyed gardening, swimming, public speaking, playing golf and attending Augustana College sporting events.
Survivors include his wife, Nancy; sons and daughter-in-law, Bill and Jenny Califf, River Falls, Wis., and Steven Califf, Milan; grandsons, Marcus and Jackson Califf, River Falls; sister and brother-in-law, Betsy and John Wheelan, Glenview, Ill.; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Bill and Pam Telleen, Minneapolis; and five nephews; and a niece. He was preceded in death by his parents; and an uncle, J. William Califf, who was killed in France during World War II.
Online condolences may be left at wheelanpressly.com.


Local events heading

  Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The board of education has granted Thursday as a holiday for the children, with the expectation that parents who desire to have their children attend the Scott County Fair will do so on that day and save irregularity the rest of the week.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.

(More History)