The following is an edited version of the obituary for Norman McCall:
Norman McCall was born March 2, 1924, in Grand Chenier to Henry and Gladys Miller McCall where his playground was the Mermentau River and his first toys were small, homemade boats. He graduated from Grand Chenier High School in 1941 and attended Louisiana Tech in Ruston for one year. In 1942, he joined the U.S. Navy and volunteered for submarine duty. He was trained as an electrician before joining the crew of the USS Jack. He served on the USS Jack for 3 years and 4 months. During this time, the Jack made seven war patrols in the South Pacific and South China Sea. He was honorably discharged in 1945.
Upon returning home, he immediately began a long, successful and impressive career in the offshore oil industry. He started as a deckhand on vessels owned by Superior Oil Co. from 1946 - 1948. In 1948, he earned a Masters License and served as captain of vessels for Pure Oil Co.
In 1957, he became Port Captain for LA-Tex Marine Service — a subsidiary of Brown & Root, based in Cameron, La. During this time, he was also operations manager of all Pure Oil Company owned boats working in the offshore oil industry.
In 1966, he purchased two used vessels and formed his own boat company — Cameron Crew Boats Inc. He later formed other corporations that owned and operated offshore vessels. By 1996, his companies owned and operated 42 crew/supply vessels. In May 1996, he merged the family-owned companies with Seacor Marine and served as manager of the Cameron office and following Hurricane Rita, the Lake Charles office.
McCall was the builder of the first four engine crewboat — 11O' in length — in 1970, the first five engine crewboat — 145' in length — in 1984, and the first six engine crewboat — 160' in length — in 1989. He was also instrumental in the delivery of the first 185' crewboat ever delivered in the world as well as the first catamaran crew supply vessel. He is known as a true pioneer of the oil industry.
He actively participated in the U.S. Sub-Vets WWII and Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA).
There was never a dull moment with Norman around. He enjoyed playing jokes on people and usually had a group to help pull them off. He was making people laugh up until the very end. His drive and determination as well as the cows and tractors at the farm kept him young. At 97 he was still driving a tractor, baling hay and keeping up with his friends on a daily basis.
Norman is survived by his wife of 64 years, Joyce Colligan McCall; daughter, Phyllis McCall of Grand Lake; sons, Alan McCall (Carlene) of Livingston, Montana and Joe McCall (Paula) of Lake Charles; grandchildren, Tomas Johnston (Kelly), Caleb McCall (V), Adam Johnston (Trista), Blair McCall, Aaron McCall (Trevor), Annabeth McCall, Ashley Trahan (Kyle), Alyse Frisbie (Jake), Sam Johnston and Seth McCall; great-grandchildren, Liam and Ava Johnston, Olivia, Winnie and Jack Frisbie, Eleanor and Henry Johnston, Avery Trahan and bonus greats, Ki and Christine; and brother, Henry “T-Boy” McCall (Faye) of Lake Charles. He also leaves a host of special people who worked for him over the years and they each held a special place in his heart as he saw them as his family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry & Gladys Miller McCall; first wife, Phyllis Donatelli McCall; children, Philip Alan and Doreen McCall; grandson, Jered Johnston; sisters, Oma “Blue Eyes” Miller and Emma Arceneaux; and brother, Pete McCall.
His funeral service was held on Oct. 11, 2022.