Robert McCallApril 10, 1939 ~ August 1, 2017 (age 78)
McCall, Robert “Dr. Bob” of Pittsburgh, Pa., passed away peacefully on August 1, 2017. He was 78. He is preceded in death by his parents, John and Hannah; wife of 35 years, Geraldine (Felious); siblings Verdis Smith, Velma Green, Bill McCall, Arthur McCall and grandson Roderick Carter. He is survived by daughter Andrida Hosey (Boyzell), son Robert McCall Jr. (Benita) granddaughters; Chandell Lee, Kiashi Telfort (Benjamin) and Shanena McCall; Grandson, Jacquay Hosey; great grandkids, Jauntae, Jaceir and Jalayah Hosey, DaShawn Carter, Nevaeha and Aniya Harles siblings; Juanita Pitts, Ella Jenkins, Diane Spears and John McCall Jr.
Dr Bob was born on April 10, 1939 to John and Hannah McCall in Birmingham, Alabama. He was one of 9 children and attended Western Olin High School. He played football, baseball, and swam while also taking culinary classes. However, it would be the culinary classes that would fuel his entrepreneurial spirit and life in cooking.
After a short stint in Chicago to try his hand at a possible career in bricklaying, Bob quickly ditched his new tools not because of the hard manual labor, he discovered he was afraid of heights. After marrying the love of his life Geraldine Felious in 1957, he moved to Pittsburgh where he started to pour his heart and soul into cooking, raising a family, and helping the disadvantaged. After working for Montefiore Hospital as a cook for a couple of years, he was hired by the Pittsburgh Hilton Hotel as a chef for a career that spanned 20 years.
During the mid 70’s and 80’s Bob would hit his career stride by realizing his life-long dream of running his own business. After operating a successful catering outfit on the side, in 1974 he opened Bob McCall’s Restaurant on Center Ave. The restaurant featured mouthwatering recipes such as the “Super Spectacular Original Fried Lobster Tail” and his one of kind “Chitterling Pizza.” Those creations and many more became legendary in the City of Champions where many celebrities and athletes paraded through the restaurant such as Pirate greats Willie Stargell, Bill Robinson, and Roberto Clemente. Famed Steelers included L.C. Greenwood, John Stallworth, and Bennie Cunningham. Popular R&B greats Sister Sledge, Stevie Wonder, and the Temptations; civic leaders Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King III, and Pittsburgh mayors were amongst the privileged to taste the delicacies of the local catering legend who by then was affectionately known as “Dr Bob.”
As billboards with “Dr Bob’s” photo could be spotted across the city, he would use his growing influence to impact worthy causes and help those in need. He was co-founder and president of the Caters’ Inc. – a group of black caterers devoted to raising money for charitable causes. Thousands of people would show up at the Syria Mosque for the elaborate game-themed cabarets including “Night Las Vegas.” Thanksgiving of 1971 marked the first year of an annual event where Bob and his entire family would prepare and serve meals to senior citizens. It is estimated that Bob sponsored and served over 5000 Thanksgiving meals during his lifetime. In 1982 Bob published “Dr. Bob’s Down Home Cooking…” It featured many of the unique and original recipes that he became famous for. In his latter years, Bob was President of the Tenant Council at Douglas Plaza and a 2014 Steel City Sports World Hall of Fame inductee.
Above all, Bob will be remembered for his generous heart, compassion for people and a spirit that loved to make others laugh. He loved life and was a great storyteller to prove it. The saying, “Bob McCall, that’s all”, was a term of endearment to all who knew him. Even his inside jokes to family members will be etched into memories. Just ask one of his grandkids about “Staying on the other side of the tracks” and you’ll get the point.
“Bob McCall, that’s all.”