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Wulff Woodbury Funeral Home

2195 Woodlane Drive, Woodbury, MN

OBITUARY

Rev. Galen C. Call

April 24, 1945July 25, 2020
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If one word had to be chosen to capture the essence of Pastor Galen Call, it would be shepherd. He led and cared for his family and friends with tender compassion and sure-footed guidance. And he would surely credit the fact that he faithfully followed in the footsteps of the Good Shepherd all his life - the same Jesus he now sees face to face. After a short and sudden illness, Pastor Call went home to be with God on July 25, 2020, at the age of 75.

Galen came into the world on a spring day in northeast Kansas on April 24, 1945, the firstborn of Grace and Leo Call. Brothers Steve and John and sister Susan were added to the family in short order. Their earliest days were simple and rustic, fitting of a rural farm family of the time - filled with extended family dinners on Sundays, farm chores before dawn. They had no indoor bathroom in their house, and all the kids attended a one-room country schoolhouse. A few times, Galen even rode his horse to school, although he didn’t think it was fair to have the horse tied up all day, waiting for him to get done.

Life forever changed when Galen was eight. He was riding in the farm truck with his father when Leo clutched his chest and died of a heart attack. Galen became the man of the family, and his household became the exception in his community: a farm and family run by a single mother. Grace went to work at the IGA in town and Galen and his siblings helped run the farm. Despite the hardship, he always remembered it as a generally happy time and credited his mother with hiding the stress and sorrow from her children as best she could. By the time Galen was in high school, Grace remarried. John Duffield was a kind and gentle presence in their family, and sister Lori completed their sibling group in 1961. Grace and Galen remained close until her untimely death at the age of 66, also of a heart attack.

The Calls attended Calvary Baptist Church in Valley Falls, which is where Galen first felt a tug toward ministry. After graduating high school, he attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago - a school he loved his entire life. He finished his bachelor’s degree at Grand Rapids Baptist College, and shortly received a call to become assistant pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Covington, Kentucky, under Pastor Warren Wiersbe.

One of the duties of the assistant pastor of Calvary was to step into the pulpit at neighboring Baptist churches when their pastor took a break. And that is how Galen first laid eyes on Jeannette Eggleston, the daughter of Pastor Harmon Eggleston. As the story goes, Galen came to Highland Baptist Tabernacle one Sunday evening to fill in for Pastor Eggleston. Seated in the very middle of the choir behind the pulpit was a dazzling young woman - who was immediately elbowed by her choirmates on both sides. Galen was attractive and charming, and self-proclaimed matchmakers were already wondering if the stars would align. They did. Galen and Jeannette began dating. He proposed in May 1970, and they were married at Calvary Baptist Church on October 24 of that same year.

Galen and Jeannette lived in a parsonage across the street from the church. He often recalled it as a happy and hopeful time. Warren Wiersbe was one of the finest expository preachers of the day, and he became a close friend and mentor. When Pastor Wiersbe was called to Moody Church, the congregation at Calvary voted to call Galen to be their new senior pastor - on the same night that his first child, Kelly, was born in January of 1972. He often laughed about that and said it probably helped the vote go in his favor.

Two more children joined the family during their time in Northern Kentucky - Michael, born in 1975, and Emily, born in 1978. Those were busy years. Galen was energized by his work at Calvary - founding a Christian school nearby, starting an inner-city ministry and expanding the church’s foreigh missions focus, revealing his deep love for missionary work. But he was also burning out, and later in life, he said he wished he’d focused more on his young family during those years.

In 1979, Galen accepted a call to become pastor of a small Baptist church in Richardson, Texas. But it was a disastrous move - something Jeannette predicted, which he humbly admitted the rest of his life. Within a year, Galen resigned and experienced his first dark night of the soul. Redemption came when Edina Baptist Church called him to be the founding pastor of a new church they wanted to plant in Roseville, Minnesota. The Calls moved to the Twin Cities in January of 1981. It was cold, dark and snowy - but the church welcomed them warmly, and Galen and Jeannette knew they were home.

A fourth child, Jonathan, was born in 1982, and Galen was busy building Grace Church Roseville, where he was pastor for 19 years. Under his leadership, both church and his family grew. Galen loved being a dad - except for maybe a few days during his kids’ teenage years. He treasured being together. He loved to joke and to tease around the dinner table. He read books to the kids at night. True vacations were rare, but the Calls visited Jeannette’s family in Kentucky and Galen’s family in Kansas every summer. He earned a master's degree in pastoral leadership from Moody Graduate School, “cramming a seven-year program into nine years,” he often laughed.

In 1999, Galen accepted the position of senior pastor at Los Gatos Christian Church near San Jose, California. During his tenure, the church regained health and eventually decided to merge with another church it had planted in the 1980s. It became Venture Christian Church, and after two years, a new senior pastor was called for the combined congregations. Galen resigned, per the merger agreement, satisfied that he has helped the Lord set the church back on firm ground.

After 40 years of pastoral ministry, Galen and Jeannette moved to Colorado Springs in 2009, and it was there that Galen finally fulfilled his wish of becoming a missionary. Together, he and Jeannette served with Barnabas International, providing pastoral care and encouragement to missionaries, their families and other international leaders - mostly in the areas of Central Asia and Spain.

In 2015, Galen and Jeannette moved back to Minnesota. Only the lure of grandchildren could entice Galen to return back to the land of winter. But it was worth it. His final five years were filled with the joys of family. He adored his 14 grandchildren and lived for those big family gatherings. It was during this time that Jeannette was diagnosed with dementia, and while it was a heavy blow for both of them, Galen found it an honor to care for and serve his life-long love.

Those are the details of what Galen did during his time here on earth. But part of the reason we mourn him today is because of who he was.

He was a man of God. It’s hard to picture Pastor Galen without a Bible in his hands. He was a student of the Bible and a communicator of its truth. But more than that, he was a pastor who cared for his flock. Since his death, hundreds of people have said, “He was a hero of the faith to me.” Or simply, “I never knew someone so Christ-like.” He had a knack for listening and asking just the right questions. His warm brown eyes invited others to be reflective and honest, which led many to pour out their hearts to him, and he in turn would lift them right up to the Father.

Physically, he was imposing. People often remarked on his big hands, which he would clasp around others as he stood by the church door on Sundays. But in stature, he was gentle. He rarely raised his voice except to sing his favorite hymns.

He loved this country and had strong political convictions - which all his Facebook friends know well. His patriotism was rooted in his belief that America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and he was proud that his family roots could be traced back to the Revolutionary War. If he had been present at the original Boston Tea Party, we are sure he would have been there, throwing tea into the harbor.

Galen read maps for fun. You could often find an atlas on his bedside table. He never lost his sense of direction - “just go north after you get to the stoplight” - fitting of any country boy worth his weight. He treasured a drive on the back road - be it in the prairies, the mountains, or through the lakes and forests. He loved a good storm and was known to go outside when the tornado sirens went off, instead of retreating to the basement. He was fascinated by planes of all sorts, and he was always thrilled to travel, be it to Israel, Turkey, Ireland or Spain.

But more than anything, Galen found joy in his family and friends. Loving well the people he loved - that was his hobby. In Genesis, the patriarch Jacob blesses Joseph’s sons by saying,”God has been my shepherd all the days of my life to this day.” That was true for Galen. It is true for those of us who called Galen our shepherd too. His memory is a blessing, and while we miss him, we know we will see him again.

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Evening Visitation

    Friday, July 31, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, August 1, 2020

OTHER SERVICES:

  • Private Interment

Memories

Rev. Galen C. Call

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Kathy Steppa

August 10, 2020

My husband and I started attending Grace Church Roseville in June, 1987 after we moved to Roseville, Minnesota. About 3 months later, Pastor Call phoned and asked if we would start a Name Tag Ministry. After the ministry was started, we noticed that Pastor Call had gotten out of the habit of wearing his name tag, so we made another one. I didn't know where the lights were in the sanctuary, so I crawled on my hands and knees to the pulpit to leave the new name tag with a note for Pastor Call. He later had a great laugh when he heard this story and was much better at wearing his name tag!
We are grateful for his ministry to our family, especially when he baptized our oldest daughter, Jen, on 1/10/1988 and prayed for our youngest daughter, Colleen, when I was having a difficult pregnancy and dedicated her later in 1988. Our son, Chris, told us some years later that he accepted Christ during one of Pastor Call's sermons.
We were sad that we were out of town and could not attend Pastor Call's Memorial Service.
Sincerely,
Allen & Kathy Steppa

Gene Clark

August 10, 2020

My deepest condolences to Galen’s family. He will be remembered by me for being a strong inspiration as someone who helped lead his family when needed. I always thought of him as a strong older brother who took up the responsibility thrust upon him and the rest of the family at too young an age. His career in Ministry was a choice many benefited from over his life time. I knew him mostly as a young man, but his life story is an inspiration and I am proud to have known him.

Paul and Maribeth Niager

August 10, 2020

Maribeth and I worked with Galen and Jeanette in Barnabas International. The word that comes to mind when I think of Galen is, “Gentleman”. Galen was such an example to me of being a man who is gentle, thoughtful, kind and yet clear, willing to speak Truth and a man of conviction. I remember Galen being so supportive of Maribeth and I when we were on the Leadership Team with Barnabas. He encouraged us in our role, he reached out to Maribeth and I upon occasion and simply cared for us. When he and Jeanette came to Florida each year they would reach out and see if we might be available for a meal....He was a man among men. I was honored to be counted among his friends. He loved us and many others so well. Jeanette, we love you dear friend and are so grateful that you have family who will so intentionally tend to you and your needs. While I don’t know your children, I know enough about them to know that they exude many of their father’s values, one of which is to be attentive to people. He was to us and I KNOW he so desired to care for you well, Jeanette. He both spoke of his love for you and he modeled very well what it means to be a Godly husband. You are missed my friend but you are Home....

Judy McElyea

August 1, 2020

Dave and I want you to know we were moving our daughter and son-in-law so could not be present for reviewal or service. However we both learned so much from Galen. He was a wonderful teaching pastor. While we are happy he is with the Lord he loved, our hearts feel for the loss of the entire Call family. Our prayers are for your comfort and a sense of the love that surrounds you.

Debbie Holman

August 1, 2020

You will be truly missed Galen. You were always such a loving, caring and compassionate person who had a true love for the Lord. We found out my husband had cancer at the age of 47 and went home to be with the Lord at 49. My husband grew so close to the Lord the last few years of his life because of Galen. My husband wanted to be baptized, but only wanted to be immediate family there and Galen respected my husband’s wishes and did a wonderful baptizum for him. May you Rest In Peace with our Lord Jesus.

Naomi Boss

August 1, 2020

My memories go back to Valley Falls when my dad (Lowell Bush) pastored Calvary Baptist. I have such find memories of their farm and especially Easter sunrise services out in the field with the smell of bacon and eggs for Easter breakfast! Over the years, our family has kept in touch and it's been a blessing to follow his ministry! Such a humble, loving, godly man. I loved his Facebook posts! He's walking with His Savior, and we will join him one-day!

Mary (Tichenor) Shipps

August 1, 2020

We were neighbors, attended the same School and church while growing up, and good friends. The Call boys were friends and like brothers to my all girl family. Such fun and great memories. Grace, Galen’s mom was like a second mother to me. So thankful to have known Galen and to see stories of how
God has used him through the years. May
God bless you his family and give you comfort and peace.

Paul Bartlett

July 31, 2020

Dear Jeannette, Kelly, Michael, Emily, Jonathan, and your families,
Our time ministering with Galen, your husband/father/father-in-law/grandfather, and the rest of the pastoral staff (Dave, John, Mark, Herb, Paul, and Joe) at Grace Church Roseville was a highpoint of our lives. It was a blessing, privilege, and pleasure to know all of you and to work with scores of Grace Church people, which is reflective of the godly man, spiritual leader, and gifted preacher Galen was. On a more-personal note, he never could understand why his hair was turning lighter while mine remained dark, although I am less than a year younger. His homegoing was a shock, but how grateful we are that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (which is far better)—and then there is the promise that a grand reunion awaits us (1 Th 4:13-18). Praying for you, Paul and Sandy Bartlett, Christy, Heather, and Gretchen

David K. & Joyce Johnson

July 31, 2020

With our sympathy, we are continuing to pray for all of you. "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death if His godly ones" (Psalm 116:15).

Paul Hagstrom

July 30, 2020

It is not often that words escape me, however this news of Galen’s passing and going to be with the God and Savior he preached and loved for so many decades has left me breathless! My mom and dad adored Galen and Jeanette. Galen lovingly conducted both of their memorial services. Many years ago when I was in MN I met with Galen in his temporary study while Grace Roseville was under construction. It was a cold Monday. For many years I thought I was saved. I wasn’t! He led me through Scripture, I remember his large hands paging.through his Bible. He prayed, I prayed and I received Christ. Through the years whether it was in Los Gatos or back in Woodbury, we talked or emailed often. I loved Galen and Jeanette. Last August the entire Call family had a reunion at Trout Lake Camp. Galen sent me photos daily of their family antics and fun.
I had spine surgery here in VA on June 30. We prayed on the phone and he wrote an encouraging and sweet humorous email everyday. I was looking forward to spending time with Galen and Jeanette on an upcoming trip to Minnesota. One of his last emails He sent to me ended as only Galen knew how: “ Even so, come, Lord Jesus. That is my prayer.”
I am still in unbelief and was unaware I still had so many tears to shed. I would love to be in MN this weekend. I would not be writing this note were it not for Galen and Jeanette’s love, care, and concern for this lost sinner.
Farewell my faithful and Godly wingman. A glorious reunion awaits Us in Glory!

FROM THE FAMILY
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