Joan M. Callahan
, NH — Our Yankee Doodle Sweetheart, Joan McCrave Callahan, formerly of Pembroke, passed away on July 18, 2021, two weeks after her 74th birthday, with love in her heart.
She was cared for by the staff of Granite State Hospice and the Merrimack County Nursing Home (3 South) during the final few months of her life, and for that we are eternally grateful. We would also like to acknowledge St. Joseph Hospital's Senior Behavioral Health Unit for their care and guidance.
Per her wishes, there will be no services, so this is our tribute to her. Known for her sense of humor and compassion, she was a fierce feminist, voracious reader, lifelong Democrat, bargain shopper, recovering Catholic and world traveler.
Born on July 4, 1947 in Providence, RI, she was the middle child of William F. McCrave, Sr. and Marjorie R. (Callahan) McCrave.
She was predeceased by her sisters, Patricia A. Lucy and Kathleen F. Ustick; her nephew, David C. Vantine and our dad, Ray F. Warner, Jr.
She is survived by her younger siblings, Marjorie Sinclair (David) and William F. McCrave, Jr. (Annmarie), the families of her siblings, several cousins from our large Irish Family, her former sisters-in-law, Linda Stone (Tom) and Penny Bright (Dan), her favorite ex-daughter in law, Kristin McCarthy, the Thursday Morning Breakfast Club, and friends.
Her career fulfilled her desire to help. She was an early childhood educator in Rhode Island, the Director of Community Services at Rockingham County Community Action, Human Services Director for the City of Concord, a Research Assistant for Dartmouth Psychiatric Medical Research Center and an Exceptional Services Assistant at Pembroke Academy.
She volunteered and served on committees or boards for several area agencies including the Capital Region Food Program (where she was inducted into the Mark E. Manus Honor Society), NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence Crisis Center, Zonta, Merrimack Valley Daycare, NH Women's Lobby (NH Women's Foundation), Concord Area Trust for Community Housing (CATCH), and the Concord Hospice House with her friend Gerri Donahue.
A lifelong learner, she earned an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and Human Services and a Master's in Public Administration and Women in Political and Government Affairs.
She continued her professional development as a participant in Leadership Concord (1998) and Leadership New Hampshire (2000); but she was most proud of the opportunity to attend the JFK School of Government at Harvard University upon receiving the Caroline Gross Fellowship in 1998.
She leaves behind a legacy of service to others and us -- her favorite son, Danniel D. Warner (Tara) and their family, Mavinee, Abigail, Laxmi, Alexandra Warner, Cannon Callahan Warner and Dan's grandson Bradyn; and her favorite daughter, Cassandra A. Mason (Kevin) and their family, Kelsey (Aoife), Jacob, Olivia, and Ben that loves Buki.
She will be missed for her inappropriate sense of humor, her full-chest press, her inability to cook, and her weekly grocery delivery that included items such as Double Stuff Oreos, toilet paper and Steak-ums.
She was known for gift giving of unusual sorts and abundance.
She was always available to help and to offer sound Irish advice or her personal colloquialisms.
She wanted you to remember her the way she was. We hope that you consider a donation to any of the charities listed in this obituary or another of your choosing.
In lieu of flowers, buy yourself a pint of locally made ice cream (or Ben & Jerry's) and some chocolate. Her choice of the Cremation Society of NH for arrangements (because she couldn't donate her body to Dartmouth) meant giving up her lifelong dream of being felt up by a doctor.
We encourage you to talk to your family about your end of life wishes, make a plan and make a backup plan.
Being diagnosed with early onset dementia was not part of her plan, but we knew what she wanted and we followed her wishes. She didn't give us any directions for her obituary and Dan considers this a loophole, so we have taken artistic license. We love you, Mom!
Published by Concord Monitor on Jul. 21, 2021.