John James Callahan, 98, of Naples, FL, died February 24 at the Health Care Center in Vi at Bentley Village. Born April 6, 1914, in Framingham, MA, to Daniel Callahan and Delia (Delaney) Callahan, he was a 1934 graduate of Marlboro High School. Shortly thereafter he joined his uncle, Dennis Callahan, in the home heating oil business in Exeter, NH. They eventually established Callahan Oil Co. that operated out of offices in Exeter, Hampton and Portsmouth, NH, for nearly 50 years. In 1943 he married his high school sweetheart, Mary McCauley, who predeceased him in 2012. During his years in Exeter he was active in Republican Party politics, once serving as a manager of Wesley Powells successful campaign for the governor in 1958. An enthusiastic member of the Lions, Rotary, Elks and Knights of Columbus, he was most proud of his work in the community for better schools and medical care. As chairman of Exeter School Committee in the 1950s he lead the merger of Tufts High and Robinson Female Seminary into what is now the Exeter High School. In the 1970s, as President of the board of trustees of the Exeter Hospital, he spearheaded a development program that led to a major renovation and expansion of that facility. He also served as a director of the First NH Bank, the Oil Heat Institute of New England, and chairman of the building fund for St. Michaels Church in Exeter. He lived in Exeter for over 45 years before moving, with his wife, to Florida in 1981, first to Marco Island and then to Naples but spent the summer months at a lakeside home in Wolfeboro, NH, for a number of years. They moved to Vi at Bentley Village in 1998. In later years in Florida he invested in local real estate, played golf and took up tennis, a game he regretted he came too late to make his own. In recent years he got a computer and spent part of everyday reading the online editions of local newspapers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire keeping up on events and e-mailing friends and family. He is survived by his sons, Sean Dennis (Elisabeth Biemann) Callahan of Brunswick, ME, and Daniel Francis (Joselyn Janssen) Callahan of Pound Ridge, NY; and five grandchildren, Anna Farrell and William McCauley Callahan of Brunswick, ME; Evin John Callahan of Stamford, CT; Ryan Bennett Callahan of Poughkeepsie, NY; and Kellene Ann Callahan of New York City. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend his graveside service on Saturday, May 4th, 2013 at 11 AM at St. Stephen Cemetery, Fenwick Street ( use Brook Street to Fenwick St.), Framingham. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Norton Funeral Home, 53 Beech Street Framingham. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to St. Tarcisius Parish Fund, 35 Cedar Street, Framingham, MA 01702. For online guestbook, please log onto www.nortonfuneralhome.com.
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Published in The Framingham Tab from May 1 to May 8, 2013