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Obituary: Leo Joseph Callahan

Aug 02, 2019 05:22AM ● By Theresa Gilman

Leo Joseph Callahan

It is with deep sadness that the family of Leo Joseph Callahan announces his passing on July 18th 2019, while surrounded by his family and following a courageous battle with cancer.

Born in Malden MA, in 1939, Leo was the son of the late Elizabeth M. Callahan and the late Leo T. Callahan. Leo spent his childhood growing up in Winchester MA and he later settled and raised his family in Concord NH. He ultimately retired to Dover NH.

An outstanding hockey player, Leo played for the Winchester High School Sachems and was a key player during the 1955 state championship.

From 1957-1961, Leo served in the US Navy. In 1963 he graduated from New Prep in Cambridge and went on to Boston University's College of Basic Studies. In 1969, he became the first head hockey coach of New England College and held this position until 1972. In addition, Leo served as the Athletic Director and Director of News and Sports Information while at the college. He co-founded and served as the secretary and president of the Friends of New England College Hockey. In 1973, he became the head coach for the Concord Youth Hockey's bantam travel team. As a player, he was inducted into the Winchester (MA) High School Hall Of Fame in 1997. As a coach, he was inducted into the New England College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.

With a lifelong passion for writing, Leo worked for several publications and held various positions from feature writer, freelance writer, reporter to editor which ultimately led to his position as Bureau Chief at the United Press International wire service in Concord NH. Leo spent 5 years living in Bermuda and working as a feature writer for the Department of Tourism.

Upon his return, he founded and managed his own publication, the NH Runner. For 16 years, he served as both the assistant and acting clerk for the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

Always with a quick wit and a smile, Leo loved to spend time with his family and friends. He gathered friends wherever he went and always saw the good in others. He had incredible integrity and unending patience; his work ethic was unparalleled. He loved to play the guitar, belonging to several church folk groups through the years.

He was most proud of his children and grandchildren. Leo is survived by his daughter Vigdis Dunn and her husband Shaun Dunn of Pembroke NH and his son Stig Callahan of Houston TX; also by his former wife Ruth Callahan of St. Petersburg FL. and his brother William Callahan of Tewksbury MA . He was the loving grandfather of May and Alice Callahan, of Gorham ME, and Emily and Matthew Dunn of Pembroke NH. The loving uncle to Kathleen Callahan of Greenwich CT, Michael Callahan of Newton MA, Matthew Callahan of Boston MA and grandnephew Birch Crocker of Buffalo NY. He was the life partner of Luzi Pantano of Barrington NH.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Leo's name to the Friends of New England College Hockey, PO Box 1233 Concord NH 03302-1233 or the Merrimack Valley Hospice High Point House, Home Health Foundation, Attn: Community Engagement 360 Merrimack Street, Building 9 Lawrence, MA 01843. A celebration of Leo's life will be held at a future date in the early fall.
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