William Edward Callahan, beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, died on July 7th, 2021 in Greenfield. Born in Boston in July of 1936 to Irish and Polish immigrant parents, he spent his childhood in Rhode Island, where he excelled in academics and sports. Earning a scholarship to Tufts University, he received his M. D. from the School of Medicine in 1962. He completed residencies at the Maine Medical Center in Portland and the Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii. In 1971, he completed a tour of duty with the U. S. Air Force Medical Corp as chief of the Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. From 1974 until his retirement, he was a clinical instructor in the Ob-Gyn department at Tufts University.
In 1971 Bill moved to Greenfield. Through the years, he continued to grow his medical practice on Park Street through partnership with local physicians, midwives and a dedicated office staff, up until his retirement in 2014.
Bill was active in organized medicine at both local and state levels. He served as president of the Massachusetts Medical Society from 1992 to 1993. His focus as president was domestic violence, and he formed a committee to help ensure that the state’s doctors were equipped with best practices for identifying and responding to what he termed “a conspiracy of silence.”
Bill is survived by his wife, Gail; his son Bob Callahan and wife Lisa of Evergreen, Colorado; his daughter, Heather Callahan of Denver, Colorado; his son Patrick Callahan and wife Carrie of Fayetteville, N. Carolina; former daughter-in-law Claudia Callahan; his stepson, Ross Burns and wife Luiza; Casey Burns and wife Marlene; and Tim Burns, all of New York City. He also leaves behind five grandchildren, Carly, Ryan, Riley, Finley and Evan and three step-grandchildren, Valentina, Celine and Kaia Burns. He was pre-deceased by his son, William E. Callahan Jr., and by his first wife, Victoria.
A prolific reader, gardener, sports fan, and cook, Bill will be remembered for his quiet, gentle and caring way with others, the elaborate holiday meals he cooked for the whole family, his legendary tomato sauce, salsa and pickles, his vegetable garden, and his needlepoint. Though wheelchair-bound in recent years, he could still be seen working in his garden on Franklin Street, tending to the crops of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, strawberries, and flowers he so passionately raised. He was thrilled to learn in recent weeks that his granddaughter, Carly, was accepted to the Tufts University Medical School for the fall of 2021.
A memorial gathering will be held on September 4th, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at 81 Franklin Street, Greenfield, MA to celebrate his life, feast on his tomatoes, and share stories. The family would like to thank Eveline MacDougall for the Recorder article she wrote, published the day before his death. (https://www.recorder.com/Home-feature-MacDougall-Bill-Callahan-July-6-41245104)
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to The Jane Doe Fund (janedoe.org), which helps victims of domestic violence, or Triad, (efcso-ma.us/triad) which provided Bill with years of medical equipment on a volunteer basis.
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