Cover photo for John P. Callanan, Sr.'s Obituary
John P. Callanan, Sr. Profile Photo
1927 John 2015

John P. Callanan, Sr.

June 28, 1927 — June 25, 2015

The Honorable John Patrick Callanan Sr. died peacefully on Thursday, June 25th at Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility at Schuyler Hospital in Montour Falls, NY after a long illness. He was born on June 28th, 1927 in Buffalo, N.Y. to Neil Daniel Callanan and Agnes Shea Callanan. He was predeceased by his wife of 60 years, Charlotte Ann Myers Callanan, parents and older brother Neil, younger brother Mathew and sister Elizabeth. He is survived by his five children, Karen A. Callanan (John W. Sims) of Nahant, MA, John P. Callanan, Jr (Eleanor Honan) of Burdett, NY, Margaret “Peggy” C. Callanan of East Aurora, NY, Kevin Callanan (Kathleen Koerner) of Mumford, NY and Constance (Connie) S. Bennett (Mathew) of Hudsonville, Michigan. There are also nine grandchildren, Dr. Shannon Schamel (Matthew) of Hector, NY, Neil Callanan (Laura) of Reading, PA, Courtney Callanan of Boston, MA, Amanda Callanan of Long Island, NY, Patrick and William Callanan of Mumford, NY, Abigail, Madison and Joshua Bennett of Hudsonville, MI and one great grandchild, Callan John Schamel of Hector, NY, as well as a sister-in-law, Kathleen Callanan and several nieces and nephews from Buffalo, NY. Jack (as he was known) was educated in Buffalo at St. Mark’s Parish School and Canisius High School. Following high school, he volunteered for the draft at the end of WWII, serving with the Occupation Forces in Italy with the United States Army. Returning home, he enrolled at Canisius College graduating in 1951. During this time, he met his future wife, Charlotte Myers of Fulton, N.Y and they were married on August 16, 1952. Jack had finished his first year at Cornell Law School and they lived in Ithaca until he graduated in 1954. Their first child, Karen was born in Ithaca. In early 1955, he moved to Watkins Glen to join Henry Valent’s law practice and later they became partners. Four more children, John Jr., Margaret, Kevin, and Constance were born in the next few years. Jack treasured his family above all and also felt an obligation to serve his community; through the years, he served as Village Attorney and on the Watkins Glen Board of Education (President). He was also active in Watkins–Montour Rotary (President and Paul Harris Fellow), The Sullivan Trail Boy Scout Council (recipient of the Silver Beaver Award), Watkins Glen Chamber of Commerce (President), the Elks Club, and in retirement, The Southern Tier Library System Board. He was also inducted to the Schuyler County Hall of Fame in 2009. Politics also attracted him and in 1964, he was elected to the NY State Assembly representing Schuyler County. The two year term was ended after one year when the U.S. Congress vacated the 1-man 1-vote law and Schuyler, Yates and Ontario Counties became one assembly district. He was the last Assemblyman to represent only Schuyler County. When the office of Schuyler County Judge became vacant, Jack ran and won a ten year term as County, Surrogate and Family Court Judge. He retired in1997, having been reelected after his first term and serving fifteen years on the bench. He was a faithful communicant at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church and his Jesuit education in high school and college served him well over the years. He was always there for his children and set a wonderful example for them to follow. He never missed a game or a concert or track meet in which they were involved. When they became active in Squires Drum and Bugle Corps, so did he, serving on their Advisory Board. Through many of these years Jack was a huge Buffalo Bills fan and perhaps his biggest disappointment in life was when they lost their 4th Superbowl game, “Wide right”. Jack loved people and seldom met a person he did not like. His life was one of kindness and good humor. A Mass of Resurrection celebrating the life of the Honorable John Patrick Callanan Sr. will be held on Tuesday June 30th at St. Mary’s of the Lake at 10:00A.M. Calling hours will be held at Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home 4th Street, Watkins Glen NY on Monday June 29th from 4:00PM to 8:00PM. Those who wish may send a memorial to St. Mary’s of the Lake Church, 905 N. Decatur St. Watkins Glen, NY 14891, The Watkins Glen Public Library, 610 S. Decatur St. Watkins Glen, NY 14891 or Schuyler Hospital Seneca View, 220 Steuben St. Montour Falls, NY 14865. The family wishes to acknowledge the wonderful care Jack received at Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility. The staff, without exception, was compassionate and caring and they feel he could not have received better care anywhere. You may express condolences to the family or sign a guestbook online at www.RoyceChedzoy.com.
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