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Spring Hill Elementary School saddened by loss of volunteer in car wreck

SPRING HILL — Terri Dewey, the principal at Spring Hill Elementary School, sent an email to parents with the bad news on Tuesday, the last day of classes.

"We at Spring Hill were saddened to learned of the death of our beloved volunteer, Mr. Michael McCall," Dewey wrote.

McCall, 63, of Spring Hill died at Oak Hill Hospital in Spring Hill on Tuesday after his Mustang veered from a curve and collided with a school bus Monday on Elgin Boulevard east of Sterling Hill Boulevard, the Florida Highway Patrol reported. No children were on the bus.

Though McCall was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease about 10 years ago, his family said, his Florida driver's license was not restricted.

At Spring Hill Elementary, where McCall's daughter, Michelle, 28, is a kindergarten teacher, the staff was saddened.

"He had a lot of patience with the kids," said Paula Sykes, Michelle's good friend and another kindergarten teacher at the school. "That's what made him so invaluable. We always wanted him in our rooms. I always said, 'Can I borrow him?' "

McCall spent hours every weekday volunteering in his daughter's classroom, starting when she began teaching at the school of about 700 students in 2011. In total, he logged 331 hours during the 2012-13 school year, according to Mini Ferrazano, the school's parent educator and volunteer coordinator.

He was named this year's outstanding senior adult volunteer by Hernando County School District on May 25, Ferrazano said.

"What I'm really going to miss is lunchtime — he would always eat with me during lunch and tell stories," said Michelle McCall.

A retired Air Force technical sergeant, McCall leaves behind Michelle, her two brothers and his wife, Lenora. He met Lenora, then a midwife with the Air Force, in Tampa when both were stationed there in 1976. They celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary on May 31 — less than three days before he died — with a steak dinner in New Port Richey, she said.

McCall retired from the Air Force in 1991, and Lenora, 65, retired in 1993. She said the couple spent recent years going on cruises. In January, she changed her job at All Women's Midwifery & Health Care in Spring Hill to part time so she could maximize her time with her husband.

"We were alone in the house, so I'll feel that now," she said. "I wanted to travel with him."

Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday at Turner Funeral Home, 14360 Spring Hill Drive.

Alison Barnwell can be reached at (352)754-6114 or abarnwell@tampabay.com.

Spring Hill Elementary School saddened by loss of volunteer in car wreck 06/05/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 9:45pm]
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