David McCall III, who passed away on March 28, was well-known for his substantial civic involvement and deep roots in Plano. He was a part of numerous organizations and contributed to countless causes. However, those who knew him will remember him first and foremost as a great man whose friendship they will dearly miss.
One of those who knew him best was Chuck Evans. For almost 50 years the two of them, along with friends Howard Shapiro and Ted Dickey, golfed together twice a week. To put that in perspective, Evans says they probably spent 20,000 hours together just on the links.
“I never heard Dave over that time say an unkind thing about any person,” Evans said. “He was very generous with his time and his money. And we will miss him.”
McCall practiced law in Collin County for 48 years. He was once named the Plano Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. He was the first DART board chairman and former president of the Plano Rotary Club. He was also active in the local bar association, a deacon at First Baptist Church, a member of the Baylor University Board of Regents and the Baylor Hospital Board of Directors. McCall was a founding member of the Plano ISD Education Foundation, Leadership Plano and Hendrick Scholarship Foundation.
“It’s virtually impossible to list all of the things that Dave did,” Shapiro said. “When he talked to you, he always made it feel like he was interested in what you were doing and that it was important.”
Shapiro moved to Plano in 1971 while still a student at SMU law school. As he got to know the city, he learned quickly how involved the McCall family was. The elder David McCall Jr. was a former mayor who owned Plano Savings & Loan, an insurance company and a real estate business.
“I said, ‘I’ve got to be friends with David McCall [III],’” Shapiro recalled.
The two soon met and hit it off. They were both young lawyers, just starting their families and building careers. Over the years Shapiro and his wife, former Plano mayor and State Senator Florence Shapiro, grew close to the McCall family. They traveled together and participated in many of the same activities. Their kids basically grew up together.
According to Shapiro, McCall had an incredible sense of humor. For a time it seemed like every local fundraiser or organization wanted him to emcee their events. He had a way of working the crowd and connecting with everyone. He also rarely said no to anybody.
“He was my best friend for 48 years,” Shapiro said. “I’ll miss him dearly. He was a great friend.”
Ted Dickey also met McCall in the early 1970s. He fondly recalls his dry wit. Those talking to him had to follow along quickly, or else a comment might slip by.
Dickey believes that McCall’s father instilled in him the importance of being involved with the community and giving back. In the 1980s Dickey saw first-hand how committed McCall was to making DART successful. He had a vision and dedicated untold hours to make it a reality. However, it’s the successes the public didn’t see that stick out to Dickey. He recalls the many people who turned to him for help. Whether they wanted advice on starting a business or help resolving conflict, it was McCall they turned to.
“What was really interesting about Dave was his role as a counselor and a trusted person who could give advice to people who were having trouble in their lives,” Dickey said. “He was just so trusted and so loved by people from all walks of life. He was a guy they could trust and lean on when they were going through tough times.”
Dickey runs a funeral home and is handling McCall’s arrangements. COVID-19 social distancing requirements mean that the April 3 burial will be private and small. There will be a large celebration of his life when the time is right.
“When the world starts spinning on its axis again, there’s going to be a public memorial for him that will probably be standing room only,” Dickey said. “It will be a celebration of his life with lots of good stories told and lots of good things remembered.”
The family suggests memorials may be made to First Baptist Plano, 1300 E 15th St, Plano, TX 75074; Hendrick Scholarship Foundation, 2030 G Ave Suite 1108, Plano, TX 75074; Minnie’s Food Pantry, 661 18th St, Plano, TX 75074; or City House, 830 Central Pkwy E #350, Plano, TX 75074.
Listen to David McCall’s talk in 2019 with Plano Pulse podcast about Plano history.
If you knew David, leave a fond memory for his family.