Edwin H. Callison Jr.

Edwin H. Callison Jr.
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Edwin Hamilton Callison, Jr., 67, of Chicago, IL, born January 10, 1955, in East St. Louis, IL, died peacefully at his residence on Monday, July 18, 2022, surrounded by his family after battling cancer.

Ed grew up in Belleville, IL and graduated from Belleville Township High School West in 1973. He attended Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and graduated with a business degree in 1977. Ed moved to Atlanta to begin his professional career at the Trust Company of Georgia as a commercial lender. Atlanta is also where he met his southern bride of 42 years, his beloved wife, Allyson. They married in 1979 and moved back to the Midwest shortly thereafter for Ed’s graduate studies. He received his MBA from Washington University in St. Louis in 1982 and he and Allyson settled in Belleville where they raised their three children.

After school, Ed joined his father in the family business, Callison Wholesale Liquor Company, now known as Breakthru Beverage. Ed moved to Chicago in 2003 and served as Executive Vice President for Breakthru Beverage where he oversaw several important mergers and acquisitions in the wine and spirits industry during his tenure. Ed enjoyed the work he did, but he particularly enjoyed his extensive relationships with the many colleagues, associates, and industry friends that he acquired over the course of his forty years in the beverage business. He especially loved getting to work with his son, Hamilton, who joined the business in 2011.

Ed was on the board of directors of Post Holdings, Inc., First Miami Trust and Savings Bank, First Securities Savings and Bank, and the Wirtz Corporation. He was also a member of Wine and Spirits Distributors of Illinois and a past board member of Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America.  Ed was a member of St. Clair Country Club in Belleville, IL and Lake Toxaway Country Club in Lake Toxaway, NC.

Ed cherished his role as father and grandfather and was always most proud of his family. He was lovingly known as “Big” by his four grandchildren, whom he adored. Ed was the consummate gentleman and will be remembered fondly for his kind and curious spirit, his prolific mentorship, his good humor, and his great advice. He was generous with his time and resources and delighted in hosting friends and visitors passing through Chicago.

His family will always remember his often-cited motto, “Have a little fun every day” which he was able to do up until the end. In his honor, we will try our very best to do the same.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Edwin and Shirley Callison; and a sister, Lynn Callison.

Ed is survived by his wife, Allyson, nee Bowen, Callison;
his children, Hamilton (Chrissy) Callison of St. Louis, MO, Anne (Jason) Faulkner of Atlanta, GA, and Cary Callison of Chicago, IL;
grandchildren, Alice, Eleanor and Lucy Faulkner of Atlanta, GA, and Teddy Callison of St. Louis, MO;
sister-in-law, Kathy (Ed) Battle of Winston-Salem, NC;
brothers-in-law, Coll (Sally) Bowen of Sea Island, GA, Tom (Mary Grace) Bowen of Cartersville, GA;
and many nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to Fellowship of Christian Athletes Metro East, 331 Salem Place, Suite 240 Fairview Heights, IL 62208, or to First United Presbyterian Church, 1303 Royal Heights Road, Belleville, IL 62223. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.

Visitation: Friends may visit from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, July 28, 2022, at First United Presbyterian Church 1303 Royal Heights Rd., Belleville, IL 62223

Funeral:  A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 28, 2022, at First United Presbyterian Church 1303 Royal Heights Rd., Belleville, IL 62223, with Rev. Dr. Blythe Denham Kieffer officiating.


11 Comments on Edwin H. Callison Jr.

john vranos said : Guest Report Dec 15, 2022 at 7:01 AM

I had the pleasure of working with Ed at Callison from 1988-1993 along with his father Ed-A great guy and I learned a lot from him about the liquor business! My condolences to his family...

  • worcester
  • ma
Lew and Nancy Laughlin said : Guest Report Jul 28, 2022 at 5:50 PM

Allyson, Lew and I extend our very deepest sympathy to you, your children and grandchildren on Ed’s passing. We were shocked. We hope that all of your family memories will keep him alive in your hearts forever. Sincerely, Nancy Laughlin

  • Las Vegas
  • NV
Bill Corbett said : Guest Report Jul 28, 2022 at 8:09 AM

A terrific man very proud of his family. Great mentor & friend of 36 years. Honestly, the kindest & most professional person I've ever known. See you Thursday.

  • Dallas
  • TX
Rich Sauget said : Guest Report Jul 26, 2022 at 12:39 PM

What a wonderful man that was a great mentor to many. The Sauget family will keep the family and Ed in our prayers

  • Sauget
  • IL
Jack Oesterle,Jr. said : Guest Report Jul 24, 2022 at 11:31 PM

I'm so sorry of Ed's passing! He was such an awesome Classmate! "May The Perpetual Light Shine Upon Him" Mary & Jack Oesterle,Jr. Kirkwood,Missouri

  • Kirkwood
  • Missouri
Donald R Gardner said : Guest Report Jul 24, 2022 at 9:24 PM

I never met Ed but I knew his sister Lynn. We were both journalism students at SMU; she was a talented reporter, not to mention very pretty as well. Tragically, she was killed by an impaired driver in Denver when she was only 27. And now Ed has died when he was only 67. Very sad news. My heart goes out to his family.

  • Vancouver
  • BC
Jeffrey Uhl said : Guest Report Jul 24, 2022 at 5:13 PM

Linda and I were so sad to hear of Ed's passing. We are praying that you comfort one another in this time of sorrow.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Dana Luddeke Carroll said : Guest Report Jul 23, 2022 at 8:04 PM

I am so sorry to learn of Ed's passing. I met him years ago. Such a nice guy!

  • Belleville
  • IL
Joe English said : Guest Report Jul 23, 2022 at 7:50 PM

One of my oldest west end friends that was not a cousin! I will miss you Ed, and cherish those days playing when you visited your grandparents. My deepest sympathies to Allyson, and the rest of the family.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Terry Schneider said : Guest Report Jul 21, 2022 at 9:54 AM

I worked for the Callison family for 15 years. My condolences to Allison, Hamilton and the rest of the family. A great boss and even better man!

  • Ofallon
  • Illinois
Susan Kaffer Beelman said : Guest Report Jul 19, 2022 at 9:57 PM

So sorry to hear of Ed’s passing. I worked at Callison Distributing for a few years before he left for Chicago. He was a great guy and a great boss! Prayers for the family.

  • Alamo
  • Texas

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