Dr. Melvin Ray (Nig) Calliham, of College Station, passed away on Sunday morning, August 19, 2012 at the age of 92. Only 29 days away from their 70th wedding anniversary, he is survived by his wife Frances Brooks Calliham.
Melvin (Nig) was born in Conway, Texas into a Carson County ranching family where he lived with his parents Ray and Ida and his six siblings on land fronting the legendary Route 66. He moved from the ranch to attend high school in Canyon, Texas.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from Texas A&M University majoring in Animal Husbandry. After retiring as a Major from the US Army Air Corps Nig returned to Texas A&M and earned a degree in Veterinary Medicine in 1949. As a senior he was selected Outstanding Student of the School of Veterinary Medicine.
While in the service Nig met the love of his life, Frances Brooks, of Chandler, Arizona. They married on September 17, 1942.
After earning his DVM Dr. Calliham maintained a private practice and was project manager doing research work for the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station at Pan-Tech Research Farms near Amarillo. In January 1952 he became Head of the Department of Agriculture at West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas. He also maintained a large animal veterinary practice. During the many years of his professional career he served extensively as a judge for livestock contests, tri-state fairs, dairy shows and was heavily involved with 4-H and FFA judging and training. He held offices in and was on the boards of local, state and national veterinary organizations. Dr. Calliham was responsible for much of the organization of the Performance Registry International and served on the founding board of directors.
In 1958 he was named Head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at Texas A&M. This position placed him in charge of the teaching program in medicine and surgery and as the supervisor of the operation of the Veterinary Hospital including both large and small animal clinics.
Nig was honored with a life membership in the College Station noon Lions Club in recognition of outstanding service. He was involved in community affairs and, with his wife, a long time member of A&M United Methodist Church.
In his retirement years Nig enjoyed his family, enjoyed raising livestock and puttering on his mini-ranch outside of Bryan, loved playing golf and always delighted in anything happening on the A&M campus.
Survived by his loving family who will miss him dearly are: wife Frances, son Mike Calliham Sr. of College Station, daughter Pat Martin and her husband Bill of Austin, Texas, daughter Janet Runkles and husband Rich of Windsor, Colorado, daughter Peggy Calliham of College Station, sister Opal Herndon of Panhandle, Texas, brother Max Calliham and sister-in-law Patty of Lake Quivira, Kansas. He is also survived by five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren: Mike Calliham, Jr. and wife Jo Ella, and children Aaron and Makenna Calliham, and Josh and Joseph South, all of College Station, Sean Calliham and wife Lisa, and children Ashley and Haley of Pearland, Texas, Leslie Ludy and husband Eric and children Hudson, Harper, Kip and Avy of Windsor, Colorado, David Runkles, John Runkles and wife Tasha of Fort Collins, Colorado. He also leaves many nieces, nephews and their children.
Nig was preceded in death by his parents Ray and Ida Calliham, brother Marvin Calliham, and sisters Melba Miller, Mildred Burgin, and Thelma Volmer.
Melvin Calliham was a great man, father and husband. He was loved and respected by all and he made the world a better place because he lived in it. He will be missed.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be sent to a veterinary medicine scholarship fund at Texas A&M University in the memory of Dr. M.R. Calliham. Donations are payable to the Texas A&M Foundation and should be sent to the College of Veterinary Medicine, Office of the Dean, 4461 TAMU, College Station, Texas 77843-4461.
A celebration of Life will be held at A&M United Methodist Church in College Station, Texas on Friday, August24, 2012, beginning at 10 a.m. with interment to follow at the College Station Cemetery. The family will receive friends during a visitation from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday evening, August 23, at the church.
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