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John Francis (Jack) Callahan

March 16, 2012

CALLAHAN, JOHN FRANCIS


John Francis (Jack) Callahan died peacefully at age 94 on Sunday, February 19, 2012, in Laguna Beach, California. Jack resided in Costa Mesa, California since 1960. Jack was a happy, loving and optimistic soul, who lived a storied life during interesting times.

Jack was born in New York, New York, on July 10, 1917.  He was the second child of John and Margaret (Long) Callahan, who had emigrated from Cork County, Ireland to New York.   Jack had three brothers, Patrick, Daniel, and Edward.

Jack attended grade school in New York City, at Holy Name School, and went away to high school at St. Joseph’s Normal Institute in Barrytown, New York, to study to be a De La Salle Brother of the Christian Schools, a Roman Catholic teaching order.  He attended college at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. as part of his Christian Brother’s education.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and was assigned to teach high school mathematics at La Salle Academy in Providence, Rhode Island.  While in Providence he attended graduate school at Brown University, studying differential equations.

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In 1939 Jack decided teaching and religious life were not his calling and separated from the Christian Brothers and joined United Airlines in New York City as a ticket agent, working up to a supervisor position before enlisting in the Navy in 1942 shortly after the outbreak of World War II.  He was trained as a naval aviator and was assigned to the United States Marine Corps.  Jack met Helen Jones while stationed in Miami, Florida.  Helen and Jack were married on November 23, 1944, in Miami. 

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