Obituary of Carthal Howard McCall
Carthal Howard McCall
Born August 14, 1925 Blair OK
Passed May 29, 2021 Albuquerque, NM
Preceded in death by his beloved mother, Estie Viola Nease McCall, his brother, Norman McCall, his sisters, Neoma McCall, Christine Rhodes, and Omega Ballard, and two grandsons, Grayson McCall and Coulter McCall.
Carthal is survived by his devoted wife, Mary, their three sons and their wives: Howard and Sue, D and Kyla, and Ron and Pam, all of Albuquerque. He is also survived by 9 grandchildren, Brent (and his wife, Paige) Scott (and his wife, Amy) Kevin (and his wife, Kirsten) Brad (and his wife, Jordan), Chad (and his wife, Catherine), Shea, Chase (and his wife, Francesca), Chelsea, and Jordan; 11 great-grandchildren, Brayden, Tanner, Brooklyn, Casey (and his wife, Paige), Kailey, Colby, Connor, Morgan, Caleb, Eli, and Phoebe, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Carthal was the youngest of 5 children. Carthal's dad abandoned the family when Carthal was 5 months old, leaving the family to work their dryland dairy farm. Carthal grew up not having much as the family struggled to survive through the depression and then WWII. He was too young to enlist but his brother served in the Navy, enlisting at 17. His mother, Estie, whom he adored, instilled a strong Christian faith as well as a strong work ethic in all of the children. Their work was their play and Carthal never complained about hard work; he just did it and enjoyed it. He talked fondly of plowing with a team of horses, picking cotton, and milking cows. As part of the family dairy business, he also delivered milk and butter before going to school. Carthal’s childhood was filled with hard work, loving family and a strong Christian faith.
He met his wife, Mary McWhorter in Blair, OK and taught her the gospel of Christ. They were married on May 11, 1946 in Blair. On May 11, 2021, they celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. They loved being together and the life they made together. Carthal was fervently committed to Mary’s well-being; he did everything for her, trying to help her through her many health struggles. When Carthal’s kidneys started failing, he did not want to start dialysis treatment, but Mary did not want to let him go. He honored her wishes and began dialysis treatment in March, 2017. He faithfully went to the treatments 3 times a week for approximately 5 hours each treatment. His kidney doctor said his strength and stamina were legendary and all the staff at Fresenius Kidney Center knew Carthal was there for his Mary. He always made clear that if Mary passed away, he was immediately stopping dialysis so he could be with Mary. Their love story is inspiring.
Carthal had many skills and these led to many interesting jobs. His first love in occupations was farming and hog raising. He farmed in Oklahoma until he moved to Eunice, New Mexico, where he worked beginning in 1954, at Halliburton Oil Field Services and then later as an oil field worker for Conoco Oil. In 1968, he started what many would call his dream job at Worley’s Pig Farm in Portales NM; he was there until it was closed. Another dream job came along almost immediately in that he started farming peanuts (Portales was the world capital of peanuts at that time). In Portales, he also supported Mary as she worked on an education degree and a Master’s in education degree, so life was very busy. In 1973, Mary was hired by Logan Schools in Logan NM and dad moved onto another profession that he loved which was truck driving. He always loved driving and seeing the countryside wherever he was and his company loved to have him haul cattle as he was the best driver they had to care for cattle on long hauls. He would keep them safe and alive. He especially loved hauling livestock as the cattle unloaded themselves. He was again hired to manage a pig farm in Bard, NM, for 2 years until it was closed. This lead to another profession, in which he realized the American dream of owning his own business. He purchased and began running a custom meat packing company in Estancia, McCall’s Custom Meats. He ran this business successfully until he was ready to retire and then leased it to others to operate. During this time he also began his own pig farming operation in partnership with his oldest son, Howard. In retirement, he also worked part time in farming operations run by Howard and also worked at this time on the farm that is now the famous McCall’s Pumpkin Patch, owned by his grandson Kevin. Carthal always believed that God was taking care of him and his family by always providing work that he loved.
He did not have hobbies other than work - he didn’t hunt, fish, golf, bowl, or really do anything for recreation. He often said his recreation was going to church to worship God. He loved the Lord and faithfully worked in the church his whole life. He was always willing to do whatever was needed including teaching class, preaching, leading singing, serving in worship and in his younger years helping to lead the teen groups on outings. He was also a teacher of the Word by example and deeds and led several people to Christ. Anyone who knew Carthal knew that if he could physically be there at all and even many times when he couldn’t or shouldn’t be there, he would be at worship services anytime the doors were open. He didn’t fully comprehend the issues surrounding COVID, and so he never understood why he couldn’t go to church and even though he had been unable to attend since March 13, 2020, he always wanted to go.
Perhaps the recreational activities he did have were watching his sons play sports, helping them raise hogs, and helping them win many prizes at the county, regional and state levels. He was so proud to help all three sons and nearly all of his grandchildren to raise and be awarded Grand Champions. One day, not too long ago, Ron asked what he could help him do that would be fun. Carthal responded that he would love to “go plow”. Ron explained it would be pretty hard -- being he was in a wheelchair to get him up on a tractor and he said, “Not on a tractor; I want to go plow with a team of horses”. He always exhibited a can-do attitude and never complained.
Even in 1999, when Carthal officially retired, he wasn’t really retired. When Mary and Carthal moved into Albuquerque, he would still want to go plow at the Pumpkin Patch or work on raising a vegetable garden. When it was too cold to be outside working, he would still sit in his recliner and shell pecans or peanuts for hours on end to supply himself and all his family with these nuts.
Carthal’s story could not end without telling you about his love for ice cream. Every variety was good, but none beat Mary’s homemade ice cream. For decades, Saturday evening’s meal consisted of homemade ice cream – only -- with enough left over for a small butter tub full to enjoy each night during the coming week. He didn’t hoard it all and was always happy to share another butter tub of ice cream with family or friends. He especially took great pleasure sharing a tub of ice cream with his grandchildren, it was tradition.