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Edgar F. Callahan

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Edgar F. Callahan Obituary
Edgar F. Callahan Credit Union Icon and Champion Edgar (Ed) Callahan who is believed by many to have single-handedly saved the credit union industry, passed away on March 18, 2009 of blood complications at his home in Sacramento. He was 80. From 1970 to 1975, Callahan was principal of Boylan Catholic High School, and in 1971 he became the first superintendent of the Rockford Area Catholic Schools. Prior to this, Callahan served a variety of positions at Boylan, including the first athletic director, first head coach in football, basketball and chair of the mathematics department and vice-principal. At Boylan Ed was instrumental in creating inventive methods to fund a variety of projects. Some of the more memorable efforts were candy sale campaigns, which eventually raised enough money to build the largest football stadium in Rockford, a baseball diamond, a gym for girls' athletics, and an indoor tennis club. The Edgar F. Callahan "Achievement Through Innovation" Scholarship has been established and is awarded each year to a Boylan Catholic High School student who demonstrates and reflects the same type of innovation and leadership in their achievements as alumnus Ed Callahan. In 1975, Callahan became the assistant secretary of state for Illinois under Secretary Howlett. From 1977 to 1982, as a cabinet appointee of Governor Jim Thompson of Illinois, Callahan served as director of the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions, where he supervised 2,000 consumer finance companies, 1,200 currency exchanges, and 1,000 Illinois-chartered credit unions. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan appointed Callahan as chairman of the National Credit Union Administration, which made him the highest-ranking credit union regulator in the country. With his innovative leadership and revolutionary ideas, Callahan is credited by many industry leaders to have saved the credit union movement. After stepping down as chairman of NCUA in 1985, Callahan established a consulting firm, Callahan and Associates, which consults for and with credit unions nationwide. In 1987, Callahan became the president and CEO of Patelco Credit Union in San Francisco, CA, where he continued to apply his visionary ideas to inspire and accomplish the impossible. In 2000 he was inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Edgar Callahan was preceded in death by his father Leo; mother Minnie; brother Ralph; daughter Kathleen; and son Patrick. He is also survived by his wife Linda; children (children in law), Colleen (Scott), Dan (Margaret), Kevin (Liz), Tim (Sherry), Maureen (David) and Eileen; Step children, Kelly and Curt (Patty); and 14 grandchildren. In addition he leaves his sister-in-law Carol Novotny; nephew Michael Callahan; and nieces Martha Callahan, Lucy Peterson, Rita Constantinovch and Ruth Olbrych, all of Youngstown, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a charitable contribution to the Edgar F. and Kathleen M. Callahan Memorial Fund at Marquette University. Checks should be made payable to: Marquette University - Edgar F. and Kathleen M. Callahan Memorial Fund, Marquette University, University Advancement, P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Mar. 25, 2009
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