Fair Lawn – Joan R. Callahan, 89, of Fair Lawn, NJ, died on June 11, 2020 after a brief illness. Born and raised in Paterson, NJ, she resided in Fair Lawn for 63 years.
She devoted much of her life to volunteering, in fact her name was synonymous with the term. As a faithful parishioner of St. Anne R.C. Church, she served on the Parish Council, St. Anne’s Parish Athletic Council (SAPAC), Liturgy Committee, Parents Guild, CCD program, holding many council positions. In 1971, she was chosen as the first female Lector and in 1974 was appointed a Lay Minister of Eucharist by Archbishop Boland. She was a writer for The Spire, proofread the parish bulletin for the past several years and delivered bread and baked goods to Eva’s Village. She also lovingly tended the flowers outside the church for many years. At St. Anne’s School, she was a gym teacher, a ‘Friday Lunch Mother’ and assisted in the early days of their cheerleading program. She was a Den Mother for Pack #221. For 15 years with the Fair Lawn All Sports, she was Cheerleading Chairman, the first woman named to the All Sports Board of Directors and first woman elected Vice President and served on the scholarship committee. She served as Publicity Chairman and President of Fair Lawn High School Parents Committee for Athletics and was instrumental in the building of the “Cutter Hut” at Sasso Field. She was a volunteer member of the Juvenile Conference Committee having been appointed by the Family Division of Superior Court. She was active with the Parents Council of Paramus Catholic Girls Regional High School, fundraising and calling Bingo nights. She was also a proofreader for the Franciscan Anthonian Magazine for St. Anthony’s Guild. When not volunteering, Joan could be found spectating all Fair Lawn sports whether it was on the court or on a field.
She resigned at the age of 83, after 38 years, as a Proofreader, first working for The Shopper and News Beacon, where she was a Sports Editor, until they were acquired by the company that eventually became North Jersey Media Group. She was also credited as a Copy Editor for (201) Magazine.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, John J., “Chick”. Loving and devoted mother to Barbara Zahorenko and husband Thomas, Kerry Callahan and the late John R. Callahan and surviving wife Leslie. Beloved grandmother of Tara Zahorenko, Tracy Buckley and husband Scott and Robert and Miceal Callahan. Cherished Great-Grandmother of Thomas and Lucas Buckley. Dear sister-in-law of Patricia Molenaar and husband Jack. In addition to her immediate family, she will be sadly missed by nieces, nephews and many, many friends.
Services were private. A Memorial Mass is planned for Monday, August 24, 2020, 10:30 am at St. Anne R.C. Church, 15-05 St. Anne Street, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410. Donations in memory of Joan may be made to St Anne R.C. Church. Arrangements by Vander Plaat-Caggiano Funeral Home, Fair Lawn, vpfairlawn.com.
Published in The Record/Herald News from Jun. 13 to Jun. 14, 2020.