Louis M. Callaway Jr. (Lou) passed away on Saturday, February 4, 2023. After an extended battle with cancer, Lou passed with his beloved wife Janet by his side. He was eighty-four years old.
Born on January 22, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois, Lou was the only child of Gladys and Louis Callaway, Sr. He is survived by his wife Janet Callaway (formerly Gabrion) and children: Louis M. Callaway III (Tre), Deborah Gabrion (Matt Hickey), Amy Gabrion, Doug Gabrion (Laura). Grandchildren: Andrea Gabrion (Luke Floyd), Ali Gabrion (Mike McCullough), Charlie Gabrion, and Ben Gabrion.
Lou was an avid sports fan, a community service leader, and a lover of books.
Lou attended Drake University where, in addition to achieving academic excellence, he was a four-year letterman as a middle linebacker on the football team. Many years after graduation, he was presented with Drake’s “Double D” award, recognizing lettermen who have “made a difference” in their community.
Lou retired from Ford Motor Company in 1994 after an extensive thirty-two-year career. He was the first Black plant manager for Ford and managed a number of high-profile assembly plants. During his tenure, Lou had the opportunity to host a number of prominent guests including Nelson Mandela.
Following his retirement from Ford, Lou became a financial advisor for Prudential Securities for a brief period and then served as CEO of Advanced Material Process Corporation. Lou finally settled into years of community service including: The Board of Huron Services for Youth, Big Brothers Big Sisters (Chair), Board member of Arbor Hospice, Board member and member emeritus of the Michigan Theater Foundation, Rotary Club of Ann Arbor (President, 2009–10), and Member of Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor.
Lou guided his life by two simple concepts: “Grace, Dignity, and Joy” and “Be consistent in your actions and be who you are on a daily basis and never, never compromise your principles.”
A memorial service for Lou is planned for Saturday, February 25, 2023, at 1 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4001 Ann Arbor–Saline Rd., Ann Arbor, Michigan.
People wishing to honor Lou’s lifelong commitment to family and community can make donations to the Michigan Theater Foundation (603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor, 48104), Ann Arbor Rotary Foundation (P.O. Box 131217, Ann Arbor, 48113), or Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor (4001 Ann Arbor–Saline Rd., Ann Arbor, 48103).