Callaway Gardens found and campaign manager passes away

Bo with his late wife Beth and two of his five children, Ralph and Edward. / Callaway Gardens

Officials from Callaway Gardens have announced that 86-year-old Bo Callaway Sr. has passed away at the age of 86.

"While he may be gone in body, as a founder of Callaway Gardens with my grandparents, his spirit will live on in his love of and vision for Callaway Gardens," said Edward Callaway, son. "Both our family and the Gardens family will miss him deeply."

Callaway graduated from West Point in 1949 with a degree in military engineering and ended his military service in 1953 to return to his home in Hamilton, Ga., and help his father develop and manage Callaway Gardens, a nationally recognized 6,500 acre garden and resort in Pine Mountain.

Callaway also served in the United States Congress, as the Secretary of the Army, and manager of Gerald Ford's 1976 Presidential campaign.

Both Georgia US Senators have issued their condolences, with Johnny Isakson saying that "Georgia has lost one of its political giants. As the Georgia GOP's first major candidate for Congress and for Governor, Bo Callaway was a great political pioneerââ and a champion of conservative values" while Saxby Chambliss said that he "was saddened to learn of Bo Callaway's passing this weekend. He was a long-time mentor for me and served as my statewide campaign chair during my 2002 campaign for the U.S. Senate. He was an inspiration to many of us coming through the Georgia Republican ranks and played a critical role in the growth of the Republican party in Georgia. Bo was one of the finest men I have ever met. My prayers are with his family during this time."