Sandra Kay Callahan

Sandra Kay Callahan

Sandra Kay (Johnson) Callahan lost her struggle with ALS on May 8th, 2016. Funeral service will be 11 AM, Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at the Furlong Funeral Chapel, Galena. Burial of the cremated remains will be in St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery, Galena. Friends may call from 4 to 7 PM, Monday, May 16, 2016 at the Furlong Funeral Chapel. She loved the poem by Linda Ellis “The Dash” and understood how important that dash is.  We could fill an entire newspaper telling you how she filled in that dash, but we’ll try to condense it down to what she felt was the most important things between the beginning and the end.

Sandra was born on July 3, 1941, in Galena, the daughter of Harvey and Lucy (Bartell) Johnson.  Although she was an only child she had two special cousins that were more like her brother and sister, Gary Bartell and Colleen Triplet Argyle.

She graduated from Galena High School in 1959 and Highland Community College in 1993.  She worked at Galena City Hall, St. Mary’s and St. Michael’s Religious Education Center where she served as Director for many years and Tri State Tours as a tour guide and when her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer she left the tour business to care for her.  After the death of her mother she worked for the Galena Museum and then left to take a position with the Jo Daviess Workshop in Galena.  She worked there for 31 years starting as an Administrative Assistant and moving up to Executive Director. Over the years she had the privilege of working with many supportive Board members.

She also believed in giving back to the community, she served on the following Boards: Jo Daviess County Board of Health and the Galena Chamber of Commerce.

In 1961 she married the love of her life and her very best friend, John Callahan. She described John as “the wind beneath her wings” and someone who always saw the glass as half full.   They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on November 11, 2011.   He was her rock and she was his.  During their marriage they enjoyed traveling together and had made it to 49 of the 50 states.   At the time of her diagnoses, she was in the process of planning a trip to the last state on the list -Hawaii.  She adored her two daughters, making sure they knew how much she loved them.  She also loved working on the family genealogy and was hoping to make a trip to England and Ireland to meet the many relatives that she had corresponded with.  Her grandchildren held a special place in her heart.  She made sure that they were all able to come out to Galena so they could spend quality time together.

She fought her battle with ALS like she lived her life, with grace and dignity.  She had many good friends and relatives that supported her through this period of her life and was lucky enough to have her granddaughter, Callie Hoover, stay with her for the last 4 months.

She is survived by her husband, John, her two daughters, Tracy Callahan, Rochester, MN and Cathy Hoover Callahan of Third Lake, IL, her wonderful grandchildren, Christopher Hoover, Mesa, AZ, Masie Callahan, Rochester, MN, Aaron and Callie Hoover of Third Lake, IL and her faithful Bishon, Ruff.

She was proceeded in death by her parents.

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