D. A. Calhoun, long time resident of Chatham County, former director of the Neighborhood Youth Corps, pastor of Mt. Gilead Baptist Church from 1960 to 1971, advocate of civil rights and social justice throughout his life, died December 20, 2007 after a lengthy hospital stay, just missing his 87th birthday.
Born on a tobacco farm near Rocky Mount, NC, D. A., nicknamed “Shine,” received his Masters of Divinity with Languages from Southeastern Theological Seminary, having also graduated from Campbell University, Wake Forest University, and the School of Hard Knocks. He valued the pragmatic lessons of real life as equal to or exceeding those of academia.
Margie, his wife of 64 years, remains earth-side along with his children, Beverly and Ronnie, and their respective families with nine children and four grandchildren.
D. A. successfully lobbied the N. C. Legislature for funding to initiate the Alcoholic Rehab in Chapel Hill, still in place today, taught school in Siler City and finished a novel, years in the writing, before he died, which his family plans to work toward getting published.
He will be remembered as a farmer, husband, counselor, thinker, writer, pastor, teacher, prankster, peacemaker, advocate, father, world-class wing shot, philosopher, bass fisherman, buck dancer, naturalist and lover of humanity. He made a difference.
A private family service was held on the family farm where D. A. was born; no other services are planned. In light of today’s economy, D. A. would be the first to say, “Don’t send flowers or contributions to honor me, put it in your gas tank instead and pass an act of kindness forward.”