Robert V. Call, Jr. “Bob” 96 of Oakfield, born to Robert V. Call and Lucille Hale Call on August 14, 1926, died peacefully at his residence on April 15th, 2023. Bob was predeceased by his first wife, Lorinda “Rindy” Terry Call, sons, Robert Call III and baby boy Call, daughter, Patricia Riner, sisters and brothers-in-law, Marie (Elting) Wells, Evelyn (Harland) Brumsted, Elizabeth (Theodore) Kingsley, and brother, Richard “Dick” Call.
Bob was raised on the family farm on Lewiston Road in Batavia and was a 1944 graduate of Batavia High School. He served in the U.S. Navy as an Aircraft Technician working as a specialist in avionics. He then attended Cornell University’s College of Agriculture earning a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1950. In 1980, Bob completed the Small Business Company Management Program at Harvard University Business School.
Bob, followed by his younger brother Dick, returned home to the family farm after graduating from Cornell. The two of them partnered together to buy the farm from their dad and incorporated Robert V. Call & Sons into My-T Acres, Inc., and Call Farms, Inc. in the late 1950’s.
Active in many agricultural, community and religious organizations, Bob’s generosity served many organizations well, not only financially, but also with his continued volunteering efforts. Bob was an active member of Farm Foundation and was a life member of the Cornell University Council. He served as President of the NYS Vegetable Growers Association, President of Genesee County Farm Bureau, Chairman of the NY Council of Agricultural Organizations, and was founder of the NYS Vegetable Research Committee for Processing Vegetables at Cornell University. Bob also served as a director and Chairman for Farm Credit Bank of Springfield MA for 14 years as well as director of Farm Credit Council in Denver, CO. His visionary eye in rural land utilization was recognized when NYS Governor Nelson Rockefeller tapped Bob to be an original member on the Governor’s Commission on Preservation of Agricultural Lands that resulted in the formation of Agricultural Districts and Agricultural Use Farm Assessments.
Bob married “Rindy” in 1951 and they built their home on a piece of land adjacent to the home farm in 1960. It was there where they started their family and hosted exchange students from Oakfield-Alabama Schools and Cornell University along with many other domestic and international students and guests.
In 1961, Bob was instrumental in the formation of the Pro-Fac Cooperative, where he held a position on the Board of Directors, then in elected positions as Treasurer, Vice-President and President during his 39 years with the organization. During his time with Pro-Fac, Bob was instrumental in the acquisition of Birdseye Foods Business and the formation of Agrilink, Inc.
Recognized by many organizations, the Jaycees in 1960 named Bob as one of four “Outstanding Young Farmers” in the United States. He was named as an Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Agriculture at Cornell University. The NYS Agricultural Society recognized Bob and his brother Dick as their Distinguished Service Recipients in 2008 for their dedication of a lifetime of service for outstanding contributions to New York State agriculture.
Looking for a way to support his farm, he became a majority owner with Roland “Kick” Kickbush of Batavia Farm Equipment, an International Harvester tractor dealership that helped build the farm’s fleet of tractors and implements. Understanding the need to market the farm’s dairy enterprise of over 400 Holstein cows, he and his brother Dick were part owners, with Alvin Scroger, of Genesee Farms Dairy Stores where the farm’s milk was bottled, made into homemade old-fashioned ice cream and marketed through the Dairy’s chain of stores. Oliver’s Candy store of Batavia became part of Genesee Farms Dairy stores as Bob and Dick saw the opportunity to increase the reach of the candy throughout Genesee County using the chain of Dairy stores as outlets.
Bob served his community as a member of the YMCA and United Way Boards. As an elected official of the Batavia Town Board for 8 years, Bob was instrumental in negotiating the Town and City waste disposal system.
A real passion of Bob’s was his love of flying. Numerous family trips along with many business trips for the farm were made with Bob as the pilot. Receiving his pilot’s license while at Cornell, Bob bought his first plane in 1962 and for the next 50 years flew his planes across the United States, to Alaska, Canada and Mexico. Bob also traveled the world with his beloved Roberta with the Cornell Adult University.
In 1995, Bob married Roberta Bradley and in 1997 they built their dream home in East Oakfield, New York where they have resided since. The couple has been members and active in the West Barre Methodist Church where Bob served as the Church’s financial secretary. Bob was a member of the Batavia First United Methodist Church for nearly 75 years where he sang in the choir and served the Church in many other capacities, prior to moving to the West Barre church.
He is survived by his beloved and devoted wife of nearly 28 years, Roberta, his brother, Dr. David (Mary) Call, sister-in-law, Marie “Bee” Call, children, Catherine Desautels, Susan Call, Timothy (Dawn) Call, Steven (Honorable Nicole Bayly) Call, and Elizabeth (James) Riner, and son-in-law, Daniel “Pudgie” Riner. Also survived by Roberta’s children, Mary Beth Reid Pine (Mark Sayles), Michele Reid (late Stephen) Benner, Timothy (Gretchen) Reid, Kelley Anne Reid (Steven) Kinsey. Dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, affectionately known as “G-Bob,” who adored him, along with several nieces, nephews, cousins and countless friends, also survive Bob.
Family and friends are invited to call on Friday, April 28, 2023 from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the H.E. Turner Funeral Home in Batavia. A Celebration of Life for Bob will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the Batavia First United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Batavia First United Methodist Church, 8221 Lewiston Road, Batavia, New York 14020.