Lois McConnell McCallum James of The Pines in Davidson and formerly of Dillon, SC, died December 21, 2022.
Lois was beloved by all who knew her. She displayed an outgoing, loving, and compassionate personality that enabled her to immediately connect with others. Her smile was radiant, and she had a keen sense of humor. She maintained an abiding interest in her friends and her family. She took pride that she knew everyone who entered the Pines during most of her 34 years there. She was a devoted and loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.
Lois was born in Derita, NC in 1920, the fifth child of Loy Dixon and Adda Howland McConnell. Sugar Creek Presbyterian Church was her church home as a child and young adult. She graduated from Derita High School in 1936 and Winthrop College in 1940, majoring in Library Science and English. She had a lifelong passion for books and reading, culminating in an interview for the Charlotte Library Foundation campaign at age 99. In the interview she described reading on the downtown library steps as a small child, while her father delivered milk and buttermilk to local hotels.
In 1942, after serving two years as Dillon (S.C.) High School librarian, she marriedMarion Richards McCallum, a local farmer. While Marion was stationed in Boston in the US Army in 1943, Lois was a staff member of the MIT Library. After the war, they raised their two sons in Dillon. From 1964-1972, she served as the library coordinator of the 13 schools in Dillon District 2, followed by 5 years as Gordon Elementary School Librarian. After retirement they enjoyed roadtrips and spending time at the family cottage in Montreat, NC. She was a devoted member of the Latta Presbyterian Church and for over 40 years an active member of the Dillon Presbyterian Church.
Upon Marion’s death in 1987, she returned home to Mecklenburg County as one of the original residents of The Pines. She worked as a volunteer in the Davidson Public Library for 18 years and as Librarian for the Davidson College Presbyterian Church, as well as serving on committees at The Pines and in the community. She was a lifelong Presbyterian and served as an Elder at the Davidson College Presbyterian Church, where she was a member for the last 34 years.
Lois married Dr. Richard T. James, Jr. in 1997, enriching her life in the process with three stepchildren, plus their spouses and children. Dr. and Mrs. James enjoyed 19 happy years of marriage at The Pines. During that time they welcomed great grandchildren from both sides andentertained countless new residents.After Dick’s death in 2016, Lois was honored to continue a strong bond with her stepchildren and their families.
She maintained a fascination with wildflowers, shrubs, and trees throughout her life, from the camellias she planted as a young wife to the wildflowers she relocated to her Montreat garden in retirement. She looked forward to each new bloom with excitement. Her other major pastime was knitting, which led to countless family sweaters.
She is survived by her sons Arch McCallum and his wife Caroline Smythe, and their children Conner and Sophie, and Rick McCallum and his wife Beverly McCallum, and their children Andrew McCallum, Abigail McCallum and Amanda McCallum Cash and her husband Blair Cash, and great grandchildren Avery Cash, Addison Cash, Amelia Cash and Bennett Cash. She is survived by her nephew William J McConnell and her niece Carey Jo Elam and their families. She is also survived by her stepchildren, Linda James (Scott) and her children Matthew (Anna) and Jason, Jan Niedringhaus (Chuck) and their children Erin, Jenna (Jerry) and Alex (Erica), and Tom James (Amanda).
Lois is preceded in death by her parents, siblings Carey McConnell, Alice McConnell, Edith Davies, and Elizabeth Jarrett, niece Liz Campbell, and her infant son Loy Dixon McCallum.
Memorials may be sent to Davidson College Presbyterian Church, Box 337, Davidson, NC 28036 or the Latta Presbyterian Church, Box 5, Latta, SC 29565 or the Pines Resident’s Fund, 400 Avinger Lane, Davidson, NC 28036.
Visitation with the family will be in the Parlor at The Pines, 400 Avinger Lane, Davidson, NC on January 7, 2023, from 1:30 to 3:00 PM followed by a memorial service at Davidson College Presbyterian Church at 3:30 PM.
Graveside service will be January 28, 2023, at 2:00 PM at the Reedy Creek Presbyterian Church, 4189 Highwy 9, Dillon, SC.