Callahan, Mary M.
Mary M. Callahan, 91, of Cedar Rapids, died Jan. 15, 2013, after a lengthy stay at Living Center West in Cedar Rapids. Funeral Mass: 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at St. Matthew Catholic Church, Cedar Rapids, by the Rev. David Beckman. Visitation: 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services, Cedar Rapids, with a vigil and rosary at 7 p.m. Burial: Mount Calvary Cemetery, Cedar Rapids.
Mary Margaret Magirl was born July 6, 1921, in Empire, Minn., to James D. and Clara (Hosch) Magirl, who farmed in Minnesota at that time. The Magirl family later moved to Iowa, and Mary was valedictorian of the class of 1938 at Winthrop High School in Buchanan County.
She graduated from Mercy School of Nursing in Dubuque in 1942 and was licensed as a Registered Nurse. She later was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps and served at Sampson Naval Training Station in Ithaca, N.Y., and at the Navy hospital in Trinidad, British West Indies, during World War II.
On March 19, 1945, Mary married the love of her life, John P. Callahan of the U.S. Navy, and formerly of Dubuque, at Sacred Heart Church in Oelwein. The couple were married 64 years until John’s death in 2009.
The young couple moved to Cedar Rapids in 1945 and started their family. Although sometimes a full-time mother and homemaker, Mary worked as a nurse for many years at Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids and in the offices of the late urologist, Dr. John Parke, also in Cedar Rapids, before retiring in 1982.
After retiring, Mary enjoyed gardening, especially tending her irises of which she was very proud. She was active in the community and was an elections poll-worker for many years. She also enjoyed canning fruits and vegetables in the summertime.
Mary was active in the parishes of Immaculate Conception and later, St. Matthew churches in Cedar Rapids. She was also an active participant in Iowans for Life and she worked fervently and tirelessly for many years to protect the lives of the unborn. She was treasurer for the St. Vincent de Paul Society and a volunteer for the American Red Cross and Aid to Women (now Bridgehaven Pregnancy Support Center), all in Cedar Rapids, for many years.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, John; sisters, Irene Anderson, Dorothy Carlson and Delores Cowles; and brother, Bernard H. Magirl.
She is survived by a sister, Florence Thompson of North Las Vegas, Nev. In addition, she is survived by her sons, Michael F. (Rosemary) of Nebraska City, Neb., James J. of Cañon City, Colo., John G. (Ruth) of Cedar Rapids and Kevin C. (Jacqueline) Callahan of West Branch.
She is also survived by 12 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews and their descendants; and a brother-in-law, Francis Carlson of Guttenberg.
Please sign the online guest book and share a memory about Mary at www.stewartbaxter.com.
Published Jan. 17, 2013 in The Gazette