Edward B. Callahan

October 21, 2002

Edward B. Callahan
U.S. Veteran

US Navy

World War II Veteran

Callahan, Edward B. – in Woburn, October 21st, beloved husband of the late Anna (Dango) Callahan. Devoted father of Diane Aufiero and her husband Robert of Winchester. Dear brother of Esther Callahan and the late Jean Paris and Leo Callahan. Loving grandfather of Lauren and Jessica Aufiero of Winchester. Funeral from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, on Thursday, October 24th, at 9:15 a.m. Funeral mass in St. Charles Church, Woburn, at 10. Calling hours Wednesday 4 to 8 p.m. Interment in Calvary Cemetery, Woburn. Donations may be made in Ed’s memory to St. Charles Church, 280 Main St., Woburn, MA 01801. Late retired Fire Chief, City of Woburn, late Navy veteran, WW II.


Edward B. Callahan, retired Woburn Fire Chief, died Monday afternoon, October 21st, at the age of eighty-five. He was the husband of the late Anna (Dango) Callahan, who died this past February.

Born and raised in Woburn, he was a 1935 graduate of Woburn High School. During World War II he served in the U.S. Navy aboard the destroyer USS Yosemite.

Prior to his appointment to the fire department, he worked at Atlantic Gelatin Co. in Woburn, and as a ship fitter at General Ship and Engine Works in East Boston, both before and after his service with the Navy. When he returned to General Ship in 1946, he also became a call firefighter, a position he maintained until he was granted a fulltime appointment to the fire department in 1948.

A lifelong firefighter, he was the son of a Woburn firefighter, Frank Callahan. Early in his career, he was assigned to the Winn Street area. In 1959, after a Civil Service Exam, he was made Chief Fire Engineer in the Woburn Fire Department. He continued his rise in the department, achieving Fire Captain in 1956 and holding that position until 1959, when he was appointed Fire Chief by then-Mayor William Shaughnessy.

During his tenure, he oversaw the construction to two new stations, one on the West Side and one in North Woburn, as well as the expansion to the Central Fire Station. He instituted training programs and the general modernization of the department. He was the first to integrate a Fire Department communications system in the city, involving communication with the vehicles.

Over the years he was a member and former president of the New England Association of Fire Chiefs and the Mass. Association of Fire Chiefs.

He was appointed by Governor Frank Sargent to the Fire Safety Commission of the Department of Public Safety of the Commonwealth in the late 1960’s.

Chief Callahan remained actively involved in Fire Chiefs’ organizations throughout his career. He was a guest lecturer at the Massachusetts Fire Training Academy in Framingham and the Massachusetts Fire Academy in Stow.

His memberships included, in addition to his professional associations, the George Campbell Post 101 American Legion, the Woburn Lodge of Elks, the Woburn Lions Club, the Woburn Knights of Columbus, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Woburn Post 543.

In addition to his wife Anna, he was preceded in death by a brother, Leo Callahan, and a sister, Jean Paris.

Surviving are his daughter, Diane Aufiero and her husband Robert of Winchester, his sister Esther, and two beloved granddaughters, Lauren and Jessica Aufiero of Winchester.

The funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, on Thursday, October 24th, at 9:15 a.m., followed by a funeral mass in St. Charles Church, Woburn, at 10. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Woburn.

Relatives and friends may call at the funeral home on Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m.

Donations may be made in Ed’s memory to St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn, MA 01801.


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  1. Joseph A. O’Keefe Sr. Massachusetts state Fire Marshal (Retired). Chief Callahan served with distinction as a long term appointee of the Massachusetts Governor on the Massachusetts Board of Fire Prevention Regulations. That Board is charged with the promulgation of the Massachusetts Fire Safety Code. During his long tenure on the Board I came to recognize his counsel, wisdom, and experience in crafting various fire codes in particluar and the fire service in general. Every now and then he managed to have a hell of a fire in Woburn. God Bless him? R Joe O’Keefe

  2. Chief Bob DiPoli Needham Fire
    Edward was one of the first Chiefs I met in 1989, when I was promoted to Chief. I enjoyed his company at many New England Chiefs Conferences etc.
    He will be sorely missed. Do to an extensive travel schedule this week, I may be unable to deliver my condolences in person. I hope you will understand. I will say a prayer for Edward and his family.

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