McCallister, Craig M.

October 12, 1957 – September 5, 2017

 

Craig loved talking to everyone.  He was kind, funny, thoughtful with a relentlessly positive world view and cheerful attitude – everything was new to him.

A 1976 graduate of the first class of Hazelwood West High School, Craig performed in many school productions and was honored to be invited to speak at graduation. He attended Webster College and attained a degree in the Fine Arts.

Of a literary and actory bent, Craig pursued life in the theatre and performed in such productions as “West Side Story” and “Mister Roberts”.  He was in “Man of La Mancha” at the Westport Playhouse where through an unfortunate incident involving his over-zealous spear throw, he met his future wife, usherette Caroline Fujimoto. A lifelong guitarist, Craig played locally at Jacks or Better Restaurant and other casual dining establishments.

Craig and Caroline moved to Los Angeles in 1984 where he was often mistaken for Tom Cruise, despite driving a yellow Dodge Colt. Speaking of driving, Craig had no sense of direction whatsoever. He once was trying to get to downtown Los Angeles and headed the wrong way entirely, stopped only by reaching the Pacific Ocean.

He was an award-winning screenwriter, winning a Telluride Film Festival screenplay award and was a semi-finalist for Project Greenlight, a documentary series focusing on first time filmmakers. He was a writer for Makeup Artist Magazine in Los Angeles and was able to interview his favorite makeup artists. He also worked as a makeup artist, most memorably in a production of “Macbeth” where plastic sheeting was passed out to the front rows to shield them from his enthusiastic blood spatters.

Halloween was Craig’s favorite holiday. He loved monsters, horror movies and was an avid collector of monster magazines, books and monster artifacts.

In 2006, the happy couple moved back to St. Louis where he eventually found work and a second family at the Wiese company. He worked in sales of heavy machinery; an unlikely field, yet he was a complete natural at it. His lifelong habit of giving each person he met a friendly and positive comment gave him a good foundation to start with.

Craig McCallister was one of the very few who survived pancreatic cancer for over 5 ½ years.  During that time, he never complained about his diagnosis and always kept a positive attitude.  He would point out that others had it so much worse than himself as evidenced every time he visited the 7th floor at the Siteman Cancer Center.  Craig would always ask the hospital workers how their day was and would never forget to thank them for their work.  Craig was able to pass away at home surrounded by family, friends and the music and books that he loved.

Instead of sending flowers, please donate to your favorite charity.  Pedal the Cause, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and Siteman Cancer Center are charities they supported.

Predeceased by his parents Fred C. and Marie McCallister and brothers Steve McCallister and Ricky Gottschall, Craig is survived by his wife Caroline Fujimoto, his brother Larry and his husband Mathew Vipond, sister-in-law Jane Fujimoto and her husband Mike Pierzynski and their son Ringo, cousins Nancy Richter, Vickie Szombathy and Cathy Zornes, and many friends, well-wishers and horror enthusiasts everywhere.

Visitation at Kutis Affton Chapel, 10151 Gravois Road, St. Louis, MO. Saturday, September 16, 2:00 – 5:00 P.M.