Honoring the Life and Legacy of Vivian Estelle Stark McCallumApr 01, 2019 ● By Christine Perrenot
Mrs. McCallum was born on her family’s farm on May 29, 1925, to Robert Thomas and Sallie Josephine Phillips Stark. She graduated from Frisco High School in 1942. Later in life, she met her husband William “Bill” Olin and they married in 1943. He was in the Army Air Corps and the couple traveled posts until Mr. McCallum was sent to the China-Burma-India Theater. Over the years, the couple lived in College Station, Desdemona (where a tornado completely destroyed their home), Irving, Dallas, New Jersey and Connecticut.
After Mr. McCallum retired from his career in 1983, the family returned to Frisco and started work on the historic TJ Campbell House (now Randy’s Steakhouse). Mrs. McCallum had an antique store on Main Street and was an active community leader in a variety of facets, including Frisco’s First Baptist Church, the Frisco Garden Club (where she twice served as the organization’s president) and as the founder of the Frisco Book Review Club. She even offered one of her properties on Main Street to be the first location of the Frisco Public Library!
She served as the treasurer of the Friends of the Library organization and was an early member of the Heritage Association, where she chaired the Historic Marker Project for several years, making sure Frisco’s rich history was always accurately acknowledged and remembered. The current historic sites committee leader, Linda Sutton, shares, “She was an integral part of the Heritage Association from its beginning and served as chairman of the Historic Sites committee for about 10 years. During that time, she and her committee researched and put Heritage Association plaques on 32 sites in and around town. They included businesses, residences, cemeteries and even a tree. She always made the unveiling ceremony a solemn affair with a Boy Scout Color Guard and someone to sing the ‘National Anthem’ or another stately song. Preserving these sites was serious business to Vivian.”
Susanne Kerley, past president of the Heritage Association, shares, “Vivian was a vital part of the Heritage Association of Frisco. With energy and knowledge of growing up in Frisco, Vivian led the effort to preserve and mark these important sites. She was a delightful person and always served great cookies at her meetings!”Mrs. McCallum also served on a committee to help select public art at Frisco Fire Stations and was named the 1994 Silver Citizen of the Year by the Frisco Chamber of Commerce. A park in the Queen’s Gate neighborhood is named in her honor and the Frisco City Hall and Library is home to the McCallum Room. Her stone portrait can be seen at Fire Station No.5. In 2016, she was honored by the Frisco City Council for her dedication and 25 years of service with Frisco Friends of the Library.
“I have known Vivian ever since we moved here 22 years ago. She was truly a lady through and through. When you went to her home for a meeting, she always had the fine linens out, along with her crystal and silver. Frisco will miss a true icon of our city and I will miss a great friend,” Heritage Association member Sandy Simpson says.
Mrs. McCallum was a sister, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt and friend. She was known as a businesswoman, a great golfer and a cross-country skier. She even became an accomplished painter. She loved creating and gifting quilts to her family, which she loved to have together for meals and trips any chance she had.
Mrs. McCallum’s daughter, Linda Ness, says one of the accomplishments her mother was most proud of was making each of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren feel that they were special to her. Ms. Ness says, “She must have invented hospitality. She always had her doors open for civic and social activities. She gave the best advice and could always see what the big picture was whenever there was a dilemma. Her love for family never faltered, regardless of any difficulties.”
The McCallums spent time with their loved ones and traveled before Mr. McCallum’s passing in 1990. Mrs. McCallum outlived all 12 of her siblings, who are also from Frisco. Now, recently, Mrs. McCallum’s life and pride for being a native of Frisco was celebrated at First Baptist Church Frisco, on March 2, 2019. Ms. Ness shares, “She told me over and over again that she knew she had a good life – that she had more blessings than she ever could have expected to come her way. She and my father created a life for their children that was filled with opportunities, a love of learning and curiosity about the world and every place and thing in it.”