Marion Hathaway “Bill” Callahan, 90 years of age and a longtime Hoquiam, Washington area resident, died on Friday, November 24, 2012, at Grays Harbor Health and Rehabilitation Center in Aberdeen, Washington. He was born on September 12, 1922, in Torrington, Wyoming, to Peter and Grace (Hathaway) Callahan.
Bill was raised and attended school in Wyoming, working on the family’s cattle ranch and participating in athletics at school. He also competed in local rodeos. At the age of 15 he made news by crawling over three miles to find help after his horse fell on him and broke his leg. After high school he joined the U. S. Army where he played football and served with the 115th Cavalry in the Philippines. He was briefly stationed at Montesano, Washington where he met Bonnie J. Bayer whom he later married on June 12, 1944, in San Diego, California.
Following the war they briefly resided in Torrington where he worked in the oil fields. Thereafter the couple moved to Hoquiam where he worked at Grays Harbor Paper and then ITT Rayonier Pulp and Paper Mill. He had various jobs, but was a pipefitter for most of his career there, retiring as a foreman in 1983. During his career he was a union leader for many years, and was a board member of the Grays Harbor Credit Union where he sat on the credit committee.
Bill was an active member of the local community and was always willing to help others. In addition to leading a volunteer crew to plumb the old Hoquiam YMCA, he re-piped the Hoquiam Elks Club as a member and volunteer, and often was called to many neighbors’ houses to help with plumbing problems. He was an active member of the Hoquiam Elks Lodge #1082 where he worked his way through the chairs, to become the Exalted Ruler of that lodge. He organized and led annual reunions of his Army Cavalry buddies where they met in a variety of places to include New York and New Orleans. He also belonged to the Eagles Aerie #252 and the American Legion Post #16.
He enjoyed athletics throughout his life, participating in both basketball and fast pitch softball in local men’s leagues in his younger years, and participating in golf and bowling for many years thereafter. He loved both fishing and hunting, and at one point in time bagged the largest buck to have come out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Marion “Bill” Callahan is survived by his wife, Bonnie J. Callahan, residing at Channel Point in Hoquiam; a son and daughter-in-law, John S. and Normandie Callahan of Redmond, Washington; a daughter, Peggy Marie Fanning of Lynnwood, Washington; a sister, Blanche Sherman of El Dorado Hills, California; four grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and other relatives.
His family will have many fond memories of Bill, who was a fantastic story teller with a great sense of humor. Family members continue to enjoy the family cabin at Summit Lake in Olympia. Bill and his friends put many hours of sweat into building this cabin over 50 years ago. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Hoquiam Elks Lodge #1082 in his memory. This institution was a large part of Bill’s life, and gave him a platform to contribute to the local community.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a. m. on Thursday, November 29, 2012, at the Coleman Mortuary Chapel, 422 – 5 th Street in Hoquiam with Reverend W. Kent Gravely officiating. Interment will follow in the Sunset Memorial Park in Hoquiam.
Direction is by the Coleman Mortuary in Hoquiam.
Please take a few moments to record your thoughts for the family by signing the on-line register at www.colemanmortuary.net.