Long-time western Massachusetts resident and newcomer to Haydenville William Patrick Callahan III passed away after his battle with cancer on Monday, August 23 at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. He was 62. He was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, but grew up in Holyoke and was a 1977 graduate of Holyoke High School.
Bill was a lifetime fanatic of music (particularly live and “good” jazz), baseball (particularly the Boston Red Sox, but later the Washington Nationals when he needed a new underdog team), reading (particularly historical fiction) and walking in the woods. Clad in his signature flannel shirt and ball cap, he could be found chasing and photographing butterflies throughout New England on nearly every sunny day for the last decade. An active member of the Massachusetts Butterfly Club, he took a bucket list trip to Costa Rica with daughter Cara in June to observe the vast variety of species found there. His final excursion was a walk through the Northampton Community Garden, one of his favorite local spots.
Bill is survived by his loving and patient wife of 38 years Nancy A. Callahan (Taddia). The couple met working at the G. Fox Department Store at the Holyoke Mall in the 1980s and raised their family in Springfield. Bill was a fiercely protective and encouraging father and leaves twins Cara Callahan of Easthampton and William Patrick Callahan IV of Cambridge, twins Andrea Callahan and Teresa Callahan of Silver Spring, Maryland, as well as daughter Gina Callahan and her husband Justin Prairie. He enjoyed watching PBS documentaries with granddaughters Madeleine and Delia Prairie and grandson Theodore Prairie, who inherited both his love for cataloguing nature and his stubborn insistence on being right.
Predeceased by his father, William Patrick Callahan, Jr., Bill is survived by his mother Patricia Anne Callahan (Kane) of Reading, Pennsylvania as well as sisters Mary, Anne, and Catherine and brothers Jerry, Matthew, and Brian. He was a brother-in-law to Philip, Susie, John, Julie, Marcie, Rena, Robert, and the late Anna and Mark and a son-in-law to Velia Taddia and the late Louis Taddia. He was “Uncle Billy” to 13 nieces and nephews and one great nephew.
Calling hours will take place Monday, August 30 from 3-5 pm at Williamsburg Funeral Home, 3 South Main St in Haydenville and be followed by a private celebration of life. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to the National Butterfly Center, 3333 Butterfly Park Drive, Mission, TX 78572. Online donations at https://www.nationalbutterflycenter.org should include his name in the instruction box.