Cover photo for John Francis ""Jack"" Callan's Obituary
John Francis ""Jack"" Callan Profile Photo
1933 John 2014

John Francis ""Jack"" Callan

April 30, 1933 — July 17, 2014

John Francis "Jack" Callan departed Earth from Oviedo, Florida, on July 17, 2014, at the age of 81. Jack had a passion for learning, and was fascinated with the physics of the origins of the Universe. A man of interwoven faith and reason, Jack was an avid reader of Plato, St. Thomas Aquinas, and astrophysicists Carl Sagan, Steven Hawking and Lisa Randall. In his final days, Jack was visited by his children, and family members and loved ones from across the country, including his best friend from the Korean War, Fred Renaud of Titusville, Fl. Jack shared funny stories of his upbringing, of relatives loved and long gone, and passed the hours marveling over the latest images from the Hubble telescope. He was the last of a generation, and his silly jokes will be missed more than we can bear. As he lay in bed, he told his children and nieces to not be so weepy, and to scratch his back. He said that it was itching between his shoulder blades, so, "it must be that I am starting to grow my wings." Jack was a radio repairman in the Korean War and on the Titan nuclear missile project, an insurance salesman, accountant, realtor and even owned a liquor store. He was a ham radio operator, a computer builder, and he held far more Microsoft certifications than his two sons who worked at Microsoft. He loved things that were new, especially the laughter of children. He said he learned to study as a young father, when his six kids, along with his nieces and nephews, were crawling all over him. He died at home wearing a rosary necklace and a smile. The last books he read were the Catholic Catechism, and "A Universe from Nothing." He had hopes that after he escaped Earth's gravity, he would either emerge in Heaven, or in another Universe as a top Quark. A funeral mass will be celebrated 10 a.m. on July 30 at St. Patrick's Church, 97 W Bayard St., Seneca Falls, NY 13148. Following the mass, a U.S. Air Force military honor guard will accompany graveside services at St. Columbkille Cemetery in Seneca Falls. There he will join generations of Callans who lived and died in Seneca Falls since our roving ancestor Bernard Callan arrived from Ireland in 1865. Jack Callan was born in Rochester, New York, on April 26, 1933. He ran away to Miami in November of 1949 at the age 16 and sold vacuum cleaners door to door for four months. He wrote his first letter home in early 1950 to tell his parents how much he loved the smell of orange blossoms. His father George Callan Sr. noted the return address and had him picked up by police. He returned to Rochester to complete studies at Aquinas in March 1950. He was engaged to Margery Byrd a few months later, and enlisted in the Air Force shortly after the outbreak of the Korean War. He married Margery the day after he returned from Korea, on August 8, 1953. Jack and Margery raised their six children in Rochester, and in Springfield and Eldon, Missouri. After their youngest son Al graduated from high school, they retired to the Orlando area, where Jack grew oranges in his front yard, a dream he held since 1950. Jack will be welcomed into Heaven by Margery, who died in 2011 after 58 years of marriage; by their eldest son Bernard Callan, who has been patiently waiting for a good "dad talk" since he passed away in 1980; by Jack's brothers George and James, and sister Betty, who have the drinks on ice; and by generations of Callans and McGiverns too humorous and numerous to count. Late for that party will be Jack and Margery's five surviving children: sons Albert, John and Stephen Callan, daughters Linda Bouton and Maureen Brower; daughters-in-law Miriam McFadden (Bernard), Julie Callan (John), Nancy Callan (Albert), and Nieves Pascual Soler (Stephen), and son-in-law Dan Renfroe (Maureen). Nine grandchildren will grow up hearing and sharing stories about their "Grandpa Jack." They are Marisa Callan Mason, Clint Callan, Davis Callan, Hannah Callan, Brendan Callan, Steven Lowery, Lisa Acree, Tyler Callan and Nicole Callan. Jack and Margie also had six great-grandchildren: Shane Clark, Lindzey Clark, Samuel Acree, Steven Lowery the 3rd (nicknamed "Tripp), and a great-grandson, Steven John Acree, who passed away in December 2010. The most recent addition to the Callan family is great-grandson John "Jack" Callan Mason, son of his granddaughter Marisa and her husband Brian Mason. "Baby Jack" was born July 11, 2014, and will carry on his great-grandfather's name. The senior Jack saw his great grandson over a video conference the evening of July 11, and a few hours later, slipped into a coma from which he never awoke. In lieu of flowers, Jack asked that friends and family offer support to a local volunteer fire department. Jack said he saw many heroic deeds when he fought as a young man in the Korean War in the famed 5th U.S. Air Force "Mosquito Squadron," in the 1950s, where he once said his job was to "drink beer and kill Communists." While he was proud of his military service with the Mosquitoes, Jack was proudest of the lives he saved during his seven years in the Gates Chili (N.Y.) Volunteer Fire Department in the 1960s. "Volunteer firefighters are the heroes next door," Jack said, a few weeks before he died. "Without pay, just out of love, when the call comes, they jump on the back of a speeding fire truck to help someone. If someone needs help, they don't ask if the person is employed, they don't ask for a credit check, or if the person is black or white. They don't ask what religion they belong to. They just do everything they can to save the lives of grownups, children and pets, and property. When he leaves, no one knows the fireman's name, nor does the fireman know the names of those he helped. He helps people, then he just leaves, and goes back to wait for someone else who needs help. "This is what love is. I hope I passed that on to my children, and that they pass it on to theirs." Arrangements are under the direction of Doran Funeral Home, Seneca Falls, NY Please visit: doranfuneralhome.com

Service Information

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 10:00am, St. Patrick's Church

Interment Details

St. Columbkille Cemetery

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