Mary Graham Callahan

January 8, 1929March 19, 2021

Mary Graham Callahan, a long-time resident of Columbia, died Friday the 19th of March. Mary was the beloved wife of the late Patrick F. Callahan and the devoted sister to the late Jean Graham Landgraf and John Edward Graham.

Born in 1929 in Greenville, SC. Mary studied at Furman University, and the Medical University of SC in Charleston. After completing her studies she worked as a hospital medical technologist in Greenville and Atlanta, GA before beginning to teach, and later to direct studies of Medical Technology at Midlands Technical College. In 1978 she earned a Masters of Public Health from the University of S. C.

Upon retiring from Midlands Technical College, Mary was awarded a Service Certificate from the State of South Carolina for her 24 years of loyal service.

Mary and Pat were long-time members of the Basilica of St. Peter. Mary helped the parish in many ways but most noted in her service in the choir and volunteering with the elementary school.

Mary loved living her Catholic faith, gardening, creating miniatures, exploring state parks, enjoying the mountains of North Carolina, learning S.C. history, and serving her neighborhood in many ways.

She was the beloved “adopted mother” for many international students studying at University of SC. Mary enveloped them in her heart and even traveled internationally to visit and witness their marriage.

Mary is survived by four nephews, John Landgraf of Texas, John Charles Graham of North Carolina, Charley Landgraf of Virginia, and Pete Landgraf of Texas; six nieces, Cindy LaJeunesse of California, Marie Mote of Texas, Donna Graham of Florida , Fran Svrcek of Texas, Betty Sulak of Michigan, and Phyllis Landgraf of Michigan; sisters-in-law, Kathleen Fowlkes of Columbia, S.C., Terry Hicks of Columbia, S.C., Libby Callahan of Pawleys Island, S.C., Janice McGinty of Pawleys Island, and Regina Graham of N.C.; brothers-in-law, Michael Callahan of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Tim Callahan of Michigan, and many international “adopted children”. Mary was preceded in death by brother-in-law Danny Callahan. Mary will be missed by family, friends, and long-time neighbors.

Family and friends are invited to a visitation at Dunbar Funeral Home on Wednesday, April 7th from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., followed by a Rosary at 7:00 p.m.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Basilica of St. Peter on Thursday, April 8th at 10:00 a.m.

Memorial gifts can be made to St. Peter's Catholic School, 1035 Hampton St., Columbia, SC 29201, (803) 252-8285, or the Basilica of St. Peter.

Memories may be shared at


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021

  • Rosary

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Thursday, April 8, 2021


Mary Graham Callahan

have a memory or condolence to add?

Steve Holtschlag

March 26, 2021

When the Bernardin Center was in the planning stage Monsignor Lehocky asked me to design the new gardens. I learned that the original Baptismal Font in the church had been replaced when the church was remodeled, many years before. Mary and Pat had saved it by moving it to their back yard. I contacted them and asked if we could use it as a focal point in the new Meditation Garden.
They were very enthused about that prospect, and 2 months later we moved it (over 300 pounds) from their yard to the church garden. My good fortune was meeting them and becoming good friends with two marvelous people. Their contribution and memory linger on.

Mark Husey

March 24, 2021

Mary Callahan was a steel magnolia in every grand and glorious sense of that expression: she could speak her truth with tenderness and integrity, and you had no doubt of what was on her brilliant, capable mind. She had a heart for those who were finding their way and opened her home to strays (like me) around the holidays. If I ever needed a mother's consolation, Mary was there for me with opened arms, as was her Pat, with his brusque Irish wit.

Mary loved her church fiercely; we were close enough that I got to see an occasional (savory) dash of salt in addition to the heaps of sugar that attended her gracious upstate gentility, with Saint Mary's in Greenville as the place of her baptism. A proud Furman alumna, she was an accomplished soprano in the choir at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta before making her home in Columbia with her beloved Pat, the first couple married at Saint Peter's with the Mass in English. She *loved* our choir and sang with us through our Monteverdi Vespers in 2010 before taking the high road in retirement: until then, she and Pat had sung with every single choirmaster who had served in that venerable 1906 basilica church building! She was also a long-term member of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

I felt connected to history knowing her: she was truly an upstanding member of the Greatest Generation and my life is so much richer for her dedicated Christian witness.

Amy Ditolla

March 24, 2021

Emily really captured the goodness and spirit of Mary; a saint among us. I was blessed to call Mary a beloved friend. Her grace, kindness and love will never be forgotten. I will miss her dearly.

emiy hero

March 24, 2021

Mary was a living saint among us. I never heard her speak ill of another person, and she never declined when you asked for her help. She was always a shining example of how to be a true Christian. If you see her face when you get up to the gate, you know you have landed in the right place!

Gwen Thurmond

March 22, 2021

I met Mary and Pat Callahan in 1987 when I joined St. Peter’s and the gallery choir. She had the most glorious soprano voice I’d ever heard. What a pleasure it was singing beside her. She was a lovely person inside and out, as was Pat. I will miss my dear friend but rejoice in knowing that Mary and her beloved Pat are together again in the presence of God. Rest In Peace 🙏

Cheryll Stetar

March 21, 2021

We are sorry to hear of Mary’s death. She was definitely a joy and blessing to know.

Deacon John and Cheryll Stetar

Patti Giomi

March 20, 2021

I’ve known Mary since I first joined St. Peter’s choir under the direction of Bill Jollie back in 1984. She was one of the kindest people I’ve ever known. I always enjoyed the company of she & Pat-what a lovely couple. I will miss her, but I can only imagine how happy Pat is to have her join him & all their good friends. The Lord Bless you & keep you, Rest In Peace my sweet friend.

Herbert Blitch

March 20, 2021

We neighbors in Skyland have missed Mary since she moved and are missing her more now. She has reached her eternal home with our Lord Jesus and the Father. Praise him that we knew her while she was here. The best memory I have is when she graciously received her Skyland neighborhood at a goodbye party which all enjoyed. She and Patrick were an asset during all the neighborhood Christmas parties we enjoyed together. Also, I recall her contributions to the many Richland County elections we worked together.