Michael Callahan had a big heart and loved his family, said Linda Callahan, his wife of 25 years.
“We had no children of our own, but we had a lot of nieces and nephews he loved dearly,” she said. “He loved to get together with his whole family. So holidays were a special time for us.”
Michael Callahan, 52, of Hobart, died July 2. He had worked for numerous railroads, most recently, Union Pacific.
Linda Callahan said her husband’s career with the railroad spanned 25 years and took him through several locations, including Vidalia, Ga.; Hannibal, Mo.; and Montrose, Iowa, before the couple returned to Hobart.
The couple met on a train in 1985, when he was a conductor for Amtrak and she was taking the train from Hobart to Chicago.
“Mike was so easygoing, always with a smile and a joke. He won me over right away,” she said.
He loved the outdoors and loved animals, and was always bringing home animals as presents, his wife said.
“The first pets were bunnies, and then came a couple of dogs from the pound,” she said. “When we were in Georgia, he thought I should have geese.”
When the couple were in Missouri, they adopted stray cats and dogs.
“Sometimes it was a madhouse, but he just couldn’t turn any animal away,” she said. “That was Mike. He had the biggest heart and would do whatever he could for anyone that asked.”
He loved to hunt and fish, and loved to walk the dog. He would often strike up conversations with other dog-walkers, she said.
He loved to joke, and loved to make people laugh.
“I loved him for his heart and for the way he loved and supported me,” she said. “He made me smile and laugh till it hurt and always made me believe everything was going to be all right. He always had this mischievous look in his eyes. I’m sure he had it from childhood, and I loved that look.”