ForeverMissed
OBITUARY
On December 7, 2020, Dr. Joel Franklin Callins, DDS, transitioned peacefully at home in Bessemer, Alabama after a courageous 13 month battle with pancreatic cancer.  At the time of his passing, Dr. Callins was 79 years old and was surrounded by family and loved ones.
Dr. Callins is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Dr. Delsadie Pullar Callins also of Bessemer, Alabama; his children Joel Aldrich Jothan Callins (Dr. Keisha R. Callins) of Macon, Georgia and Jodel Sadie Callins of Birmingham, Alabama; his grandchildren Joel Franklin René Callins, Abigail McKinley Callins, and Julian Amir Green; his siblings Aldrich G. Callins (Lillian Callins) of Birmingham, Alabama, Mrs. Gemima Wiggins (Graham Wiggins) of Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Willis Paul Callins of Atlanta, Georgia, Lilah Callins Tate of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Miriam Callins of Birmingham, Alabama, and Joshua Callins of Jemison, Alabama, and many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins.  Dr. Callins was preceded in death by his father Aldrich Callins, Sr. (1977), his mother Odell Moore Callins (2003), his brother Jothan McKinley Callins (2005) and his brother Dr. Rheuben Ezra Callins (2010).
Dr. Callins was born on June 12, 1941 at Lloyd Noland Hospital, in Fairfield, Alabama.  He was educated through the City of Birmingham public school system in his beloved Ensley neighborhood, completing his primary school education at Council Elementary School and high school education at Western Olin High School, now known as P. D. Jackson Olin High School graduating in 1959.In 1963, Dr. Callins completed his college education at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (Alabama A & M) in Norman, Alabama earning a Bachelor’s Degree.  While attending Alabama A & M University, he was inducted into the Gamma Phi Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and remained an active member until his passing.  In 1967, Dr. Callins completed his doctoral training at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee earning his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree.Dr. Callins’ dental education at Meharry was financed in part by the State of Alabama’s obligation to provide separate but equal education to African-American students.  The remaining expenses of Dr. Callins’ dental education were paid for by Dr. Callins earning money picking vegetables in Wisconsin  and driving buses for the Chicago Transit Authority during the summers from 1964-1967.  In 1968, Dr. Callins completed his post-doctoral education in Oral and Maxillofacial surgery at Boston University in Boston Massachusetts.  In 1969, Dr. Callins completed his Oral and Maxillofacial surgery residency at Harlem Hospital in New York City, New York, where he would later meet his future wife, the former Dr. Delsadie Pullar.Smitten and in love, Dr. Callins began a multinational courtship, flying back and forth between New York City, New York, Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Nassau Bahamas for eleven months in pursuit of Dr. Delsadie Pullar’s hand in marriage.

On January 3, 1972, Dr. Callins married Dr. Delsadie Pullar in Nassau, Bahamas, and after a brief honeymoon, the couple moved to Baltimore, Maryland where Dr. Callins opened a dental practice with Dr. Henry “Hank” Robinson.  In 1979, Dr. Callins moved back to Birmingham, Alabama in support of his family due to the illness of his father Aldrich Callins, Sr., and started a dental practice on Bush Boulevard in the Ensley neighborhood.  Dr. Callins offered general dentistry and oral surgery services to the community and offered Birmingham’s first 24/7 emergency dental clinic.Dr. Callins operated his dental practice on Bush Boulevard for 26 years and retired in 2005.

In addition to the practice of dentistry, Dr. Callins was an accomplished musician, skilled at playing the piano and the French horn.  Dr. Callins also enjoyed travelling, and was blessed to visit Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad, Haiti, Barbados, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Egypt, Israel, The Gambia, and Ivory Coast.  Dr. Callins was a member of the Ephesus Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, where he served in a variety of roles within the ministry of music.  Lastly, Dr. Callins spent much of his time in retirement gardening, cutting grass and practicing the trade skills of carpentry and brick masonry, both learned in high school.Dr. Callins was beloved by his community, his church family, many lifelong friends, and his family for his tireless work ethic, boundless generosity and loving spirit, and he will be greatly missed by all.

The funeral arrangements have been provided by W.E. Lusain Funeral Home and a graveside service for Dr. Callins will be held at 11am CST on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at Mount Hope Cemetery in Vance, Alabama. Thoughts and memories may be shared online at https://memories.lifeweb360.com/dr-joel-franklin-callins.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Dr. Joel F. Callins Memorial Fund with America’s First Credit Union in Birmingham, Alabama.  

Posted by Wilma Pride on January 14, 2021
Sadie, It has taken me a while to post a message to you and your family. I will always think of Joel as my neighbor ever ready to help and to talk about his growing up days in Ensley. Praying for your strength in the Lord and waiting for Christ to come and take us all home to live with Him where there will be no more crying, sorrow, pain, and death. Oh what a glorious day that will be. Remain faithful until then.
Posted by Christine O Smith on December 21, 2020
Sadie, I am sorry in your lost of Joel,But he was a person of love. I remember about the gas mask he tried to make me get one. We were cousin, I never saw anger with him, but he tried to tell me what to do in life, Yes he would get on your nerves. Joel I will be with you one day, and we will sit and talk about growing up together in Vance, Al. Much love Chris (O) Smith.
Posted by Beverley Mattocks on December 15, 2020
Clinton and I will always fondly remember our days in Birmingham last year. Friends are special and we will hold Joel in our hearts. We will continue to pray for Sadie
Posted by Lovell Anderson on December 14, 2020
My beloved brother in christ(70 years plus),friend, and band member. I speak whole heartedly how you inspired me and many others on a different path in life. I will always love you(my brother) and remember that smiley(never frowning) face who always believed in helping others. Praying I will see that smile again with the father one day.

                                 Your friend,
                                    Bro. Lovell Anderson, Sr.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Wilma Pride on January 14, 2021
Sadie, It has taken me a while to post a message to you and your family. I will always think of Joel as my neighbor ever ready to help and to talk about his growing up days in Ensley. Praying for your strength in the Lord and waiting for Christ to come and take us all home to live with Him where there will be no more crying, sorrow, pain, and death. Oh what a glorious day that will be. Remain faithful until then.
Posted by Christine O Smith on December 21, 2020
Sadie, I am sorry in your lost of Joel,But he was a person of love. I remember about the gas mask he tried to make me get one. We were cousin, I never saw anger with him, but he tried to tell me what to do in life, Yes he would get on your nerves. Joel I will be with you one day, and we will sit and talk about growing up together in Vance, Al. Much love Chris (O) Smith.
Posted by Beverley Mattocks on December 15, 2020
Clinton and I will always fondly remember our days in Birmingham last year. Friends are special and we will hold Joel in our hearts. We will continue to pray for Sadie
Recent stories

'Let's have lunch' and 'Ride of a Lifetime!'

Shared by AV Callins on December 14, 2020
Memory 1.  'Ride of a Lifetime'.  When I was about 8 years old, Uncle Joel and Aunt Sadie still lived in Baltimore, MD.  One Christmas during this time, my Dad (Aldrich) took me to Baltimore so that I could ride with them to Birmingham to visit with Grandma Odell.  Although I enjoyed seeing Grandma and Granddaddy, I do not recall being particularly anxious to go to Birmingham.  I recall it being after 11 PM before we got going.  Once we got moving, it was not too long before I noticed that Uncle Joel was swerving somewhat and appeared to be closing his eyes!  From the backseat, I also noticed that Aunt Sadie seemed to be SLEEPING!  Oh my...this was to be a trip to remember.  Well, I VIVIDLY recall, during that VERY LONG JOURNEY, popping up several times in the backseat and looking into Uncle Joel's face and saw his eyes CLOSED, while Aunt Sadie slept!!  I also VIVIDLY recall curling up in the backseat and PRAYING THAT WE WOULD GET TO BIRMINGHAM AS FAST AS POSSIBLE AND ALIVE!! Even today, my heart races thinking about that Christmas travel!!  In retrospect, I KNOW angels were navigating the car because, though swerving, Uncle Joel actually remained pretty much in the lanes....with his eyes closed!!! ‍♀️  LOL, when we got to Grandma's house, without incident, I had never been so glad to be at 1101-12th Place, Ensley; Birmingham, AL!!!   Though terrified during that trip, those memories now make me smile.


Memory 2.  'Let's have lunch'.  For the past several years, whenever Uncle Joel would see me, he would ask how I was doing and would end our conversation with, "When are we going to get together and have lunch?"  Even recently, when I saw him, we'd chat for a while and he'd ask the same question.  Well, WE didn't get to that lunch, but during this past summer, my Son and I saw Uncle Joel at TASTY JAMAICA in Fairfield, AL.  On this occasion, I am certain Uncle Joel wasn't feeling the best because he said he had been to the doctor, but he was upbeat and energetic and trying to buy lunch for Benjamin and me.  Benjamin accepted his offer of lunch and he and Uncle Joel talked, IN THE HEAT, for about 30 minutes, while Aunt Sadie eyed Uncle Joel with a "Let's go!" look.  I don't know who enjoyed their chat more, Uncle Joel or Benjamin.  Watching them was very heart-warming and I am glad that he and Benjamin got a chance to have that particular conversation and the lunch that we did not.  Though we did not have lunch, we did have a few other conversations at Tasty Jamaica and Uncle Joel called me a few times in the recent months.  We talked about WHATEVER was on his mind.  Whatever else was on his mind, I am glad that I was on his mind; that he wanted to talk; and that he wanted me to let me know that he was thinking of me.  REST IN PEACE, UNCLE JOEL.  Love Lynn