Barbara Danahy Callahan was an unflappable professional in an industry defined by competition, daily deadlines and scoops.
She knew her material and didn't hesitate to make a correction when reading the news script before appearing on the air, former colleagues said.
Callahan, who had worked as a news anchor at several Tampa area television stations, was a perfectionist with class, her broadcast colleagues said.
"Barbara was always so nice, so professional," said News Channel 8 reporter Jeff Patterson, who worked with Callahan in the 1980s. "She cared so much for journalism. She was a capital "J" type of journalist."
Callahan died last month at the age of 62 from complications of salivary gland cancer.
In the 1980s, she worked alongside Bill Ratliff at News Channel 8.
"They were a dominant team," Patterson said.
Colleagues described her as meticulous and driven.
Before joining News Channel 8, she worked locally at WTOG Channel 44 as the anchor for PM Magazine and later as news anchor.
"She was a great journalist,'' said Bruce Copeland, a former producer with WTOG Channel 44. "One of the top journalists I ever worked with."
Callahan also had a successful broadcast career in St. Louis. Before retiring, she had worked as a news anchor, producer, assignment editor and assistant news director.
Callahan, who lived in St. Petersburg, was active outside the broadcast arena.
She co-founded the Greater Tampa Bay Breast Screening Project, which helped provide low-cost mammograms. She was a champion of breast-cancer awareness and a "life member" of the board of directors of the American Cancer Society of Pinellas County.
Her son, Daniel J. Callahan Jr., said his mother wanted privacy after living much of her life in the public eye in television news.
"She was a wonderful mother and an exceptional person," Daniel J. Callahan Jr. said. "She was loved and will be greatly missed."
She is survived by her husband, Daniel J. Callahan; her son, Daniel J. Callahan Jr.; and several brothers and sisters.
Published in TBO.com on Aug. 14, 2012