Sim Callon

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 29, 2010

NATCHEZ — Services for Sim Chase Callon, 93, of Natchez, who died at his home Sunday, March 28, 2010, will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Denny Read officiating.

Burial will follow at the Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

Visitation will be from 2 p.m. until service time at First Presbyterian Church.

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Mr. Callon was born Aug. 16, 1916, in Adams County, the son of Fred L. and Anna Chase Callon.

He was educated in the Adams County schools and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps. In the early 1950s, he joined his brother John S. Callon to form Callon Oil & Gas Company, which later became Callon Petroleum Company. Today the company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas onshore and offshore in the United States. He retired as chairman and chief executive officer in 1981.

He was a dedicated member of the First Presbyterian Church of Natchez, where he served as an elder and a deacon.

He was president, treasurer and board member of the Rotary Club of Natchez, of which he was a Paul Harris Fellow; chairman of the board of trustees of Natchez Regional Medical Center; and president of the Confederate Oil Invitational.

He also served as a director of Deposit Guaranty National Bank and the bank’s Natchez Advisory Board, until retiring from these positions in l987.

In 1974, he was instrumental in establishing the headquarters of the Historic Natchez Foundation. He served on the HNF board of directors for many years and received the HNF Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was member of the board of directors of the Mississippi Historical Society and a strong supporter and leader of the Natchez Historical Society, which awarded him the Historic Preservation Award in 1983.

He was a strong supporter of the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, the Historic Natchez Conference, the Pilgrimage Garden Club Antiques Forum, Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Elderhostel program and other historical and cultural events.

An avid collector of photographs related to Natchez and a successful photographer and amateur historian, Mr. Callon researched, developed and presented numerous illustrated programs about various facets of Natchez history. He was co-author of two books about Natchez, “Natchez: An Illustrated History” and “The Goat Castle Murder: A True Natchez Story That Shocked the World.”

He was preceded in death by his parents and four brothers William P. Callon, Ben Chase Callon, Fred L. “June” Callon Jr. and John S. Callon, all of Natchez.

Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Vera Daniels Callon; two sons, Sim Chase Callon Jr. and Fred L. Callon and wife, Karen, all of Natchez; six grandchildren, Lynette Callon Bubrig and husband, Darryl, of Hammond, La.; Amy G. Callon, Heather B. Callon, Lindsey H. Callon and wife Katherine, Lauren W. Callon and LeeAnna Callon, all of Natchez; two great-grandchildren, Kennedy and Brady Bubrig of Hammond, La.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Dan Bland, Brent Bourland, Cane Callon, Chase Callon, Richard Green and Rudy Pollan.

Honorary pallbearers will be Robert Lehmann, Ron Miller, Everett Ratcliffe, Ron Riches and Marion Smith.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to either the First Presbyterian Church or the Historic Natchez Foundation.