Mr. William Jonathan Callahan (82) of Summit, NJ passed away on March 22, 2023, at Overlook Hospital. Bill, affectionately known as “Papa” was born to Thomas Leo and Helen McDonald Callahan on March 4, 1941, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a talented student-athlete at Belmont High School where he played soccer, basketball, and tennis. Early on, Bill demonstrated his exceptional ability to pick a great partner when he won both the Massachusetts state and New England doubles championships in tennis. He and his partner came in fourth nationally. (Interestingly, Bill’s partner was a national champion in mixed doubles with Billie Jean King!)
During high school, Bill worked in his father’s diner where his father imparted upon him the valuable lessons of working hard (washing dishes) and applying yourself to education (so that you don’t have to wash dishes). Bill went on to apply these lessons at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA where he continued his student-athlete career on Penn’s soccer team. After serving in the the Massachusetts National Guard, Bill began his career in the banking industry with Franklin National Bank. Bill again demonstrated his prowess at picking partners when he approached a colleague, Gail McInerney, to ostensibly borrow a dollar to participate in a liar’s poker competition after a hard day in the credit training program. Bill enjoyed telling this story as he was a double winner that day. He won both the liar’s poker competition and Gail’s heart. They were married within the year! Bill spent time with European American Bank prior to working on Wall Street for the rest of his career.
Bill had a strong passion for all Boston sports teams, Irish music, travelling, tennis, platform tennis, puzzles, diners, and local government, however, his greatest passions were for his family and his community. Bill was an active volunteer soccer coach for his children’s teams and even organized a team trip to compete in Europe. Bill also volunteered his time extensively in his children’s schools, including as the President of the PTO for both Franklin School and Summit Jr. High School. In his community, Bill served on the Summit Housing Authority Board, the Summit Planning Board, the Mayor’s Forum on Diversity, the Summit Area Development Corporation, and the Clearwater Swim Club Board. Most importantly, his eight grandchildren had the opportunity to have their beloved Papa in their daily lives as he joined their sporting events, taught them how to tackle puzzles properly and role modeled the importance of family.
Bill is survived by his wife of nearly 57 years, Gail, and their three children, including his daughter Kimberly along with grandchildren Ryan and Caroline; his son Mark and his wife Carrie along with granddaughters Margot, Delia, and Gillian; his daughter Emily and her husband Matt along with grandchildren Luke, Will, and Meg; his brother Thomas; and numerous in-laws, nieces and nephews. Bill was predeceased by his parents, Thomas and Helen.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to The Summit Foundation (https://summitforever.org/give/) or The Other Fellow First Foundation (https://www.otherfellowfirstfoundation.org) in his memory.