Captain David Calder (Ret.)
Captain David Calder (Ret.)
Captain David Calder (Ret.)

Obituary of Captain David R. Calder (Ret.)

Captain David Robertson Calder (ret) passed away after a courageous fight with cancer on February 22, 2024. He was born to James and Sarah (Percy) Calder in Edinburgh, Scotland in March 1937. He was the youngest of five children when the entire family emigrated to the United States in 1949 and eventually settled in Long Beach, California. David was a hardworking student and avid soccer player, referee, and fan for most of his life. He attended Long Beach City & La Sierra Community colleges before transferring to two different 4-year universities.He played intercollegiate soccer for the University of Redlands in 1957 with his brother Gavin, and Father who was an assistant coach. David transferred to the University of California Berkeley and played for the Bears in 1958. 

David met the love of his life, Linda Mae Shearn, at The Long Beach Church. They also graduated from the same secondary school, Lynwood Academy, before moving on to community college. Linda quickly realized that he was the one and decided that “She was going to have that man.” They were married on her grandparents' ranch in Garden Grove, CA in 1963. They would go on to spend their first year of marriage on the island of Guam, their first duty station.“Dave” was interested in dentistry, so he would commission in the United States Navy in 1963 and take advantageof the GI Bill to fund a higher education in return for a promise to serve. He graduated from Loma Linda University as a Doctor of Dentistry and would go on in that career for 40 years. Dave served honorably in the Navy for 30 years, which included a one-year deployment to Vietnam in 1969-70, two shipboard assignments, and several duty stations on both coasts. Dr. Calder once treated astronaut Buzz Aldrin after Apollo Mission 11, the first staffed lunar landing. He was later transferred to MCRD San Diego in 1977, where the family would eventually settle in La Mesa, CA on Mt. Helix. Dave was a soft-spoken leader that would eventually be promoted to Captain and become the CO of the Dental clinics at MCRDand NTC in San Diego and El Toro in Orange County. He really knew how to manage and motivate his people and continued in that role until his retirement from the military in 1993. Dave then pursued a civilian contract position with the DOD as a Dentist, continuing to work in San Diego for another 10 years. 

Dave was the eternal optimist and rarely complained about anything except politics and when the Padres played poorly. He was a quiet and kind soul that would give his time to anyone in need. He was very handy and completed numerous home improvement projects on all his properties and those owned by his sons. Dave also refereed all levels of recreational and competitive soccer, continuing into his 70’s until his surgically repaired knees could no longer handle the strain. His partnership with Linda wasincredibly special, and they worked hard to provide every opportunity and support so that their sons and families could succeed. 

David was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, and beloved wife Linda Mae (Shearn) Calder (2020). He is survived by his three sons, David (Wendy), James, and Richard (Kristine). He was enormously proud of his six grandchildren, Emma, Trevor, Evan, Samuel, Shane, & Hayden. David will be interred with Linda at Miramar National Cemetery in a private ceremony.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to a charity of your choice.  

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