William B. McKallip, known as Bill, had a distinguished career as an airman during World War II, but he will be best remembered here for the 25 years he taught at East Hampton High School, for his two decades as a swimming instructor for the town, and his passion for antique cars. He even renamed his driveway “Antique Car Alley,” a sign visible to all who drove on Newtown Lane during the years he lived here.
Mr. McKallip died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on March 9, at the Indian River Medical Center in Vero Beach, Fla., at the age of 85.
He began life on June 19, 1925, in Leechburg, Pa., the son of Harry P. McKallip and the former Emma Anderson. After graduating from high school in Hamburg, N.Y., Mr. McKallip served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1946, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross and three air medals. As a gunner aboard a B-29, Mr. McKallip flew 25 missions over Japan.
After completing his education, receiving a master’s degree from the University of Buffalo, Mr. McKallip met and married his wife, Phyllis Vant. They settled in East Hampton, where, in 1955, Mr. McKallip became a teacher of business courses at the high school. He greatly enjoyed keeping score at basketball games, and spent his summers as a lifeguard for the village and the town.
When not working on land or in the water, Mr. McKallip spent time tinkering with his antique cars. One prized possession was a 1930 Chevy Roadster, which Mr. McKallip picked up in 1960. It had previously belonged to Ira Baker, the station agent at the Amagansett train station who had sold Long Island Rail Road tickets to Nazi saboteurs during World War II, and then alerted the authorities to be on the lookout for suspicious men. Mr. McKallip drove his roadster to the beach when he taught Red Cross swimming classes for the Town of East Hampton.
His four-cylinder 1930 Model A Ford, which he drove every day to work at the high school, was originally owned by Jim Edwards, a son of Dr. David Edwards, a well-known family physician in East Hampton. The car featured then-state-of-the-art roll-up glass windows.
His 1909 Model T Ford featured a steering wheel of wood and brass, with acetylene lamps for headlights. The gravity-fill gas tank was hidden under the front seat. “It’s a lot of fun to take it to a gas station,” Mr. McKallip told The Star many years ago. “The young kids can’t figure out where to put the gas.”
Mr. McKallip is survived by his wife of 55 years, Phyllis, and two children, Susan Joy McKallip and Scott Andrews McKallip, both of East Hampton. Another son, William McKallip Jr., died as an infant. He is also predeceased by his siblings Robert McKallip and Clara McKallip and his brother Wayne, who died just two days earlier.
A graveside ceremony will be held on June 11 at Cedar Lawn Cemetery at 11:30 a.m., after which family and friends will meet at the Session House of the East Hampton First Presbyterian Church on Main Street.
Memorial donations to the Independent Group Home Living Foundation, 221 North Sunrise Service Road, Manorville, 11949, have been suggested by the family.