Mark Edmund Callahan obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Mark Edmund Callahan

January 11, 1961 - January 26, 2018

Obituary


Mark Edmund Callahan, 57, always knew how to find the sweetest parts of life. Whether that meant basking in the exuberant glow of children or surreptitiously enjoying dessert before dinner, his innate joy manifested throughout his life. He sought out the sunshine every day of his 57 years (particularly that perfect late-afternoon sunlight that made a weekend nap so very satisfying), a quality that made his Herculean four-year tangle with cancer-which ended on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018-look easy.

Born Jan. 11, 1961 to the late Mary "Mae" (Ward) and William Callahan, Mark was...

Mark Edmund Callahan, 57, always knew how to find the sweetest parts of life. Whether that meant basking in the exuberant glow of children or surreptitiously enjoying dessert before dinner, his innate joy manifested throughout his life. He sought out the sunshine every day of his 57 years (particularly that perfect late-afternoon sunlight that made a weekend nap so very satisfying), a quality that made his Herculean four-year tangle with cancer-which ended on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018-look easy.

Born Jan. 11, 1961 to the late Mary "Mae" (Ward) and William Callahan, Mark was the youngest of 10 children which meant that often, after he'd spent his daily ice cream allowance on vacations at Point-O-Woods, an older brother or sister would offer him theirs as well. He was so loved by everyone in his family, and at parties years later when he would tell stories of the boisterous days growing up on Richard Road, dozens of siblings, nieces, and nephews would eagerly lean in to hear, too.

Indeed, a seat next to Mark was the best seat in the house. His quiet, mischievous sense of humor was always greeted with peals of laughter from those in on the joke. He photo-bombed pictures before it was an internet sensation; would set up innocent pranks on unwitting friends and family; and always had a joke up his sleeve. Mark loved the joy of Christmas, and insisted that the bigger, brighter, gaudier, and more colorful the decorations, the better.

He loved a weekend drive in any one of his cars-often cars that had been passed over by so many but in which Mark could instantly see the usefulness-listening to radio programs on the way to pick up some doughnuts from Michael's Bakery.

In fact, it was at Michael's that he asked Katherine (Fitzgerald) Callahan-who would become his bride and was the love of his life-on their first date. How fitting, that a man who found so much sweetness in life would begin what would become 30 years of marriage at a bakery.

Nothing was so sweet to Mark as his three children, Molly Rose Callahan, Nolan William Callahan, and Rose Fitzgerald Callahan. He encouraged their passions, attending band concerts and Irish step dancing recitals; cheering (or coaching) at baseball, softball, basketball, and soccer games and swim meets; teaching them the lyrics to Todd Rundgren songs and how to know when a turkey is perfectly cooked. His pride for them is reflected threefold by their pride in him.

In addition to his wife and children, Mark leaves behind seven brothers and sisters and their spouses: Linda Callahan, Kathleen Lauria, Kevin and Cheryl Callahan, Barry Callahan, Shaun Callahan, Rosemary and David Scotto, Patricia and Carlow Scalf, and Michael and Nancy Callahan.

He also leaves his Fitzgerald family: Maureen and Scott Cichon, Erin Fitzgerald, and Patrick and Louise Fitzgerald.

Additionally, he leaves Joanne Callahan-Roohr, Becky Elsner, Kathleen Hunt, and Bob Slater, who will always be part of the family.

His large family includes 21 nieces and nephews: Kerrin Millington, Wendy Lauria, Eric Callahan, Christopher Callahan, Alyssa Callahan, Katie Callahan, Sarah Callahan, Brenna Chiaputti-Ahles Erin Chiaputti-Yoder, Michael Chiaputti, Tim Callahan, Kristen Callahan, Michael Callahan, Bari Callahan, Ryan Scotto, Lindsay Scotto, Kylee Adams, Leigh Callahan, Kevin Slater, Robert Fitzgerald, and Margaret Fitzgerald; as well as their spouses, partners, and children; all of whom he loved. He was deeply proud of being godfather to Alyssa, Robert, and Beau.

Mark also leaves several Callahan and Fitzgerald cousins and his great-aunt Margaret Ward.

Mark was predeceased by his brothers Brian D. Callahan and William F. "Billy" Callahan, who was also his godfather; as well as his parents and grandparents.

Mark leaves countless friends from East Catholic High School; his 18 years at WWF Paper Corp., where he founded a chapter of the Teamsters union; and his 18 years with the Town of East Hartford Parks and Recreation Department, where he proudly served as union steward and president.

We, his family, express our deepest thanks and gratitude for the exceptional care he received from the oncological teams at Hartford Hospital and the UConn Health Center, and from his hospice team at Masonicare. Each worked tirelessly alongside him.

His panache for joy and his full-body laugh may be gone from this life, but certainly lives on eternally.

Family and friends may pay their respects and visit Mark's family at Callahan's/Newkirk & Whitney Funeral Home at 318 Burnside Ave., East Hartford, CT, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31. A mass of Christian burial to celebrate Mark's life will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1 at the Church of St. Patrick-St. Anthony, 285 Church St., Hartford, CT. Friends are respectfully requested to go directly to the church. Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, 1318 Hebron Ave., Glastonbury, CT. In lieu of flower arrangements, please consider donating to the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center.