Richard Robert Callahan, age 86, of Blue Springs, MO, passed away on August 8, 2022, following a short battle with cancer.
Richard was born April 19, 1936, in Manhattan, Kansas, to Robert James and Maxine Elizabeth (Van Dusen) Callahan. Richard married his wife of 57 years, Willetta M. Littrell on September 17, 1954. She preceded him in death on January 17, 2012.
Richard was again blessed when he married Julie Pigg on December 15, 2013, in Blue Springs, MO.
He lived in several towns in Kansas and Missouri as he perfected his trade of welding. Richard worked on many buildings in the Greater Kansas City area from 1961 to 2001. He was a member of the International Iron Workers Union, Local#10. In 1964, he settled in Lenexa, Kansas to raise his family.
Richard is survived by his wife Julie, his sister Pearle Ann Bishop of Panama City, FL, four children: Ronald Callahan of Garnett, Ks; Sandra Finnicum and her husband Doug of Olathe, Kansas; Debra Callahan of Garnett, Kansas; and Linda Lapp and her husband John of Fredericksburg, VA. In addition, Richard has 10 grandchildren: Melissa Ochoa (Gilbert), Samuel Finnicum (Chelsea), Murph Finnicum (Renee), Timothy Finnicum (Kayla), Cynthia Brown (Marshall), James Brown, Jacob Sweany (Cintia), Joshua Sweany, Nathan Sweany (Alise), and Amos Sweany; and nine great-grandchildren: Richard (Ricky), Joseph, Francisco (Kiko), Karina, Liliana, Melody, Mariah, Noah, and Mia. Bonus children from his marriage to Julie include Christine Ream, Steve Kaminski, and Vicki Howe (Johnnie) as well as four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Richard worked as an iron worker/welder for 40 years in the greater Kansas City area and retired at age 65 to pursue a second career raising cattle in Garnett, Kansas. No one built a fence comparable to him. Richard’s fences, especially his fence posts, will last for many, many years to come!
Richard was also a square dance caller and teacher for many years. He called for the Jet Sets and Crosstrailers Clubs for many years. He taught hundreds of people to square dance over the years through the Johnson County Parks & Recreation.
Upon Richard’s final retirement, he moved to Mission, TX. In November 2021, he and Julie moved to Blue Springs, MO, to be closer to family.
Everyone who knew Richard was blessed. He worked hard, played hard, loved a cold beer with friends and family, and always helped with anything that needed fixing.
Richard’s final resting place will be at the Valley View Memorial Park Cemetery, Manhattan, KS 66502. The family will hold a celebration of Richard’s life at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the John H. Lyons Scholarship Fund for children of iron workers and may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502. Two of Richard’s daughters received recognition and scholarships for college from this Fund.