Henry Calam

Obituary Reports the death of an individual, providing an account of the person’s life including their achievements, any controversies in which they were involved, and reminiscences by people who knew them.

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Henry Dilaway Calam of Cortlandt Manor died peacefully on Saturday, Aug. 26, with his beloved children by his side. He was 86 years of age.

Born in Ossining on Jan. 18, 1937, Hank was the son of Henry and Dorothy (nee Coon) Calam.

A devoted husband, father and grandfather, he is survived by his three children, Elisabeth C. Gougelmann of Cortlandt Manor, Henry M. Calam of Greenwich, Conn. and Whitney Finnerty (Laurence) of Warwick, N.Y.; six grandchildren, Amanda, Jennifer and David Gougelmann, Claire Calam and Katherine and Matthew Finnerty; a younger sister, Nancy Secor; and two nephews, Andrew and William Secor.

The Calam family has lived in and around Ossining for generations. A street in the Village of Ossining, Calam Avenue, is located on the east side of the village.

Hank attended Ossining High School and then transferred to Deerfield Academy where he graduated in 1954.

It was the summer before his senior year that he met his future wife, Ann Margaret Brennan, at the tennis courts in the village. They courted throughout his time at Princeton University and during his service with the U.S. Navy. They married on Sept. 12, 1964, in the Old Dutch Church in North Tarrytown and moved to Furnace Dock Road in Cortlandt where they lived for over 50 years, entertaining friends and family for all occasions and hosting unforgettable tennis parties.

Ann predeceased Hank in March. In essence, he died of a broken heart six months later.

A cum laude graduate of Princeton University in 1958, Hank then proudly served in the Navy as an executive officer of a minesweeper. Upon fulfillment of his duties, he attended night school and received his Master of Business Administration at New York University’s Graduate School of Business.

He entered the world of marketing, sales and advertising in the toiletries, drug, food and soap categories. He worked his way up from sales to executive senior vice president of several companies including Proctor & Gamble, Lever Brothers, General Foods, Faberge, Wella and American Home Products. He left the field in his 40s and established his own company, Calam & Associates, where he marketed products for others as well as many of his original ideas.

He filed numerous patents, including the ingredients for a menstrual product as well as an oral hygiene method that ultimately led to the creation of Mentadent toothpaste. He retired in his 70s as the marketing director for another company he created, Small Business Accountants of America.

Outside of work, Hank was an avid golfer and an original member of Westchester Country Club. For almost 50 years, he played golf with the same core group of friends, including his best friend and college roommate, Robert Phillips. He won numerous team match play events, but especially enjoyed competing in the parent-child championship with his son and daughter.

Being present for his children and grandchildren was of paramount importance to Hank. He never missed a football or soccer game, tennis match or swimming competition that not only his children participated in, but also his grandchildren.

Hank loved to travel and explore new places. But he had his favorite spots that became family traditions: Purity Springs in New Hampshire, Quechee Lake in Vermont and St. Kitts in the Caribbean.

Hank was a member of the Peekskill Presbyterian Church and Shattemuc Yacht Club where he spent much time with family and friends. He was so charming and befriended people wherever he went. He was often caught – to his wife’s chagrin –

challenging newcomers to arm wrestle (and rarely lost).

Overall, Hank was so full of life, love and laughter and will be dearly missed.

A memorial service was held at Edward F. Carter Funeral Home in Montrose on Aug. 31. Interment followed at Dale Cemetery in Ossining.

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