Mark Edmund Callahan

January 11, 1961January 26, 2018
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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.


  • Visitation Wednesday, January 31, 2018
  • Funeral Liturgy Thursday, February 1, 2018

Mark Edmund Callahan

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February 26, 2018

Rest easy my friend. <3

Tom Leitao

February 10, 2018

My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Callahan family . Although it has been many years I always enjoyed and admired Mark's wonderful sense of humor and quick wit. I will always appreciate him turning me on to Monty Python !

Ed Morin

February 3, 2018

I was saddened to hear from my brother Jim that Mark had passed. What wonderful memories I have of growing up on Richard Rd with the Callahans & Moreaus. Ice skating down in the meadows at the end of our street and playing ball in the street are some of my wonderful memories. I wish everyone the best as you work through your sorrow. With sympathy to the wonderful Callahan Family I wish you peace in the days ahead.

Mary Jo BAnnon

February 1, 2018

So I was honored to get to Mark's wake last night. The line was long...but what a tribute to Mark, Katie, the kids, and all the Callahans. I was happy to stand in the line. It was like a reunion of the 'old' East Hartford gang. And then after standing in finally get into the wake. All you hear is this loud 'Tom Petty' kind of music. I could not help but start that foot stamping stuff. What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful LIFE. Hopefully...heaven is ready for you Mark Callahan.

Adele Gardner

February 1, 2018

I am so very saddened to hear of Mark's passing. He was a wonderful and sweet man who we saw as a patient for his eye injury. Always such a joy to see and he would always still be smiling though he was going so many struggles with his health and vision. He loved his family fiercely. I did not know Mark well so the impact of his passing on those he was close too must be devastating. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. he world is less bright without him. I will not forget you Mark Callahan xx

Pat Gately

January 31, 2018

Katie, Heaven got a little brighter when Mark was welcomed there. He was a bright light to everyone who encountered him Prayers to all of you as you have your very own angel to watch over you. Pat Gately

January 31, 2018


Dan & Ann Tarascio

January 31, 2018

While we were all busy raising our families, and didn't see each other like the 'old days'; Mark would always come to mind especially during Christmas, and every time an Andy Williams song played. The same thing with Bruce Springsteen for both Mark and Katie!

We've missed Mark being in our daily lives, but always knew the world was a better place with him in it. His family was the most important thing to him. They were so lucky, as we all were, to have had him in our lives.

Ed and Kaeley Steinnagel

January 30, 2018

Mark is a one of a kind man. We will never forget his smile and warm personality even on chilly summer mornings at Terry Odessa Pool. He was willing to help anyone anytime. Heaven has definitely gained an angel and we know he will be watching over you, Nolan, Rose and Molly. May memories bring some comfort during this difficult time. The thoughts and prayers of all the LEHY families and swimmers are with you all.

Priscilla Bengtson

January 30, 2018

Katie, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. Mark was such a blessing to this world and will continue to be so. You are never alone and he will be with you always. Many blessings upon all of you.