Amber Renee Schumann Callen
October 29, 1981 – July 22, 2022
Amber was born in October of 1981 in Rialto, California. She was a bright, happy baby and toddler. She was excited when her siblings were born, and really took to being the “big sister”.
She started school in California, then moved with her family and siblings to Washington state around 7 years old. The family moved again in 1991, settling in Tucson. Amber often said that she liked Tucson because it felt like a small town but still had a lot to do.
She attended elementary school and junior high in Tucson. She was attending Marana High School when she had her first child, Tyler in 1997. She went on to graduate high school in 2000.
In October of 2002, Amber married Thomas Callen, about 2 years after they met. This extended her family, adding a step-daughter and various in-laws. Amber had always talked of wanting a daughter, and loved being able to help raise Hope.
She had her second son, Matthew, in 2005, and her youngest, Jace, in 2008.
After high school, Amber began working at various retail jobs before landing at AFNI.
She went to work for AFNI in approximately 2009. She continued to work for AFNI until her passing, moving up in responsibilities over time. During her time there, she once again developed many long-lasting friendships, including a “work wife”.
Amber enjoyed taking “girls trips” with her close friends, as well as a yearly trip to the beaches of southern California, usually with family. She was introduced to Corona Del Mar, the beach my sisters and I always went to while growing up, and fell in love with it as we had as kids. On her last trip to the beach, we watched a dolphin play in the shallow water and she was so excited and happy by that. Other favorite places included trips to the mountains, such as Mt Lemmon or Flagstaff, and Las Vegas. She also celebrated her most recent anniversary with Thomas with a trip to Vegas, and planned to continue that tradition in the years to come.
Amber could maybe best be defined by her music. It was a crucial part of her day, and you never knew what she might pick next. Her favorite seemed to be country, but she was willing to give nearly any genre a try. She enjoyed going to concerts when she got the chance, and would dance and sing along when she was in the mood.
Over the last couple of years, she had discovered a love of baking, and would make treats to share with family and friends on a regular basis (except for in the summer, because no one in Tucson bakes in the summer!!).
Since her passing, people have said many things about Amber:
Her cousin Bethany called her “the sister I didn’t yet have when we were young”
Her sister Krystal called her “the best sister I could have asked for – always there when needed, and always great with Kaylee and Owen”
Her brother, Kris, said that she almost always had a smile and had a great impact on everyone’s lives.
Her brother Tony called her a loving sister, mother, and wife.
Her daughter, Hope, said she was an amazing woman, an amazing mother, and that she was glad Amber was a part of her life.
Jamie, a family friend, said she was a great mom, aunt, sister, and niece. That she was a fighter, a lover, a dependable daughter, a reliable employee and a fun friend. Jamie said I should also say that Amber was sassy, sexy, and fun….but I can’t say that, I’m her aunt!!
Our cousin Kristin said that Amber blessed the lives of many – as well as remembering Amber’s love for all things glittery and sparkly.
Her Aunt Judy noted that Amber’s passing was entirely too soon.
Kelly said Amber was the best part of her, her rock, and a huge support during trying times.
Kimberly said the world will be a little darker without Amber’s smile shining bright. .
Friends have called her kind, positive, and amazing. One friend called her the ultimate boy mom. Nearly all of her friends have mentioned feeling lost without Amber to turn to for support. But I think my favorite was the friend who said that Amber was a badass lady who always got shit done.
And I agree. Amber was a person who always seemed to know exactly what she wanted, and usually managed to get it.
She made a point to build traditions with her family. Monday night spaghetti. June beach trips. Christmas pajamas you opened on Christmas eve, and decorating her home for each season.
She recognized the value of experiences and time spent together. She did her best to include the most important people in her life in the things that mattered most to her.
She was determined to ensure that her two youngest children had the experience they want to have in high school. She was so excited to be the Marching Band mom for Jace, and to help Matthew navigate the obstacle course that choosing and applying for college can sometimes be.
Amber often seemed to be a person who followed trends, but I’ve come to realize that the trends that she followed usually ended up leading to either making her family better somehow, or making herself better somehow.
Amber had developed many relationships with people she met online. Despite never meeting in person, she had developed true friendships with people and these friendships had a positive impact on her outlook on life. These friends have shown the depth of their connection with Amber in their expressions of grief and offers to help the family through this process.
Amber passed away suddenly on July 22, 2022. She was loved by many, and her impact will be felt in big ways and small ways, for a long time to come. She is greatly missed.