Larry L. Callahan, 83, passed away peacefully on April 28th at the Governor’s Center in Westfield. Larry was born on December 24, 1936 in Morning Sun, Iowa, to the late Frederick M. and Vera M. (Swanson) Callahan.
Larry grew up on a family farm in Morning Sun and always looked back fondly on his memories of hunting with his dog, the jokes that he and his brother Don would share, the smell of his Mom’s orange rolls and date pinwheels wafting from the kitchen, going to the well to get a cool drink of water - what he always referred to as his “medicine.” Larry graduated from Morning Sun High School where he was a local sports star, playing football and baseball, and excelling most in basketball. His dad passed away in 1955 and Larry’s mother, in the years ahead, married Howard Willson, who Larry always looked on fondly.
Larry joined the US Air Force in 1956 serving until 1960. During the bulk of that time he was stationed in Japan where he developed a strong appreciation for Japanese culture and, in the years following his service, would enjoy telling stories of his time in Japan.
Once out of the service Larry moved to Massachusetts and began his career as a journeyman meat cutter. He lived for a time in Holyoke with his first wife, Sandy, and their three children, Kathy (Kathleen), Sharon, and Mark. Larry would talk about how much he enjoyed drives with the family after Sunday dinner, as well as vacations and trips they all took together. Wonderful memories that he always carried with him.
Larry coached Little League while working at various supermarkets including Walbaum’s Food Mart until he purchased Wemette's Market on Franklin Street in Westfield. He owned and operated Wemette’s until the economic recession of the early 1980s. After selling Wemette’s, Larry began a second career as a machinist at Titeflex Corporation in Springfield, MA where he would work for the next eighteen years until his retirement. Larry was also divorced and in 1985 married BonnieAnn (Marcoulier) Callahan. The couple lived in Chester on Maple Street with BonnieAnn’s two children, DJ (David) and Missy (Miriam). The four enjoyed a road trip to Iowa that took them through 13 US states and a host of special stops and attractions including his hometown of Morning Sun, Iowa where they enjoyed time with Larry’s mother Vera, brother Don, his sister-in-law Esther, and their family. Over the next several years Larry enjoyed day trips, camping trips, and motorcycle rides with favorite spots in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and Lake George, NY.
In retirement, Larry loved playing golf and also returned for a time to his best loved profession, that of meat cutter, working part-time at BigY in Westfield. Larry spent a great deal of time working in his yard and gardens and was always accompanied around the yard by one of his faithful beagles, the most recent being Laura Lee. He also enjoyed bird watching and his yard was dotted with bird feeders and hummingbird feeders which he could watch easily through a window from his recliner.
Larry is survived by his beloved wife of almost 35 years, BonnieAnn (Marcoulier) Callahan and his children, Kathy (Callahan) Skiptunas and her husband Dan, Sharon Callahan and her fiancé Rick, and Mark Callahan. He is also survived by his step-children, David Proctor and his wife Colleen, and Miriam (Proctor) Tedesco and her husband Gino, by three grandchildren (Kristen, Jennifer, and Gino) , three nieces (Teresa, Tammy, and Melodee), a nephew (Denny), five great nieces and two great nephews. He was predeceased by his father, Frederick Callahan, his mother Vera (Swanson) Callahan Willson, his brother Donald Callahan, his sister-in-law Esther Callahan, and his nephew Bud Callahan.
A memorial service will take place in Chester at a later date. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Hilltown Ambulance Fund (https://www.hilltownambulance.org/) or to the Chester Volunteer Fire Department (https://townofchester.net/fire/), both of whom were very helpful during Larry’s final years and to whom Larry’s family sends its most sincere thanks and gratitude with a special thank you to Chester Fire Chief Richie Small. Please visit www.westfieldfunealhome.com to express condolences to the family on Larry's memorial page.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Larry Lee Callahan, please visit our floral store.