Mary A. ‘Cal’ (Callahan) Eckstein

June 13, 2017

Mary A. ‘Cal’ (Callahan) Eckstein

MARY A. “Cal” (CALLAHAN) ECKSTEIN – of Woburn, June 13th at eighty-seven years of age. Beloved wife of the late Werner G. Eckstein. Devoted mother of Carla M. Boehm of Londonderry, NH, son-in-law Charles A. Boehm of Manchester, NH and Gregory W. Eckstein, his wife Joyce Cori-Eckstein of Andover. Loving “Mum” of Katherine, Alyssa, Erica and Sara Boehm and loving “Grammy” of Matthew Eckstein and great-grandmother of Braeden Boehm and Brookelyn and Rilynn Michaud. A Memorial Service will be held in the New Horizons at Choate, 21 Warren Avenue, Woburn, MA on Saturday, July 1st at 1:30 p.m. Family and friends are respectfully invited to attend a Celebration of Life Open House at New Horizons from 11:00 a.m-1:15 p.m prior to the Memorial Service. Interment is private. Donations may be made in Cal’s honor to the Alzheimer’s Association at or to a charity of one’s choice.


On Tuesday, June 13th, Mary A. (Callahan) Eckstein, a long-time resident of Woburn, joined her beloved husband Werner G. Eckstein in eternal life. Born in Cambridge eighty-seven years ago, Cal as she liked to be called, was raised in Medford. She was the daughter of the late John J. and Susan A. (Colgan) Callahan.

Cal attended Medford Public Schools, after which she was accepted to Simmons College in Boston where she studied publishing and editing. Cal graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English in 1951. Setting out as an eager, young college graduate, Cal secured a position at New England Telephone and Telegraph in Boston, enjoying her position as Editorial Assistant and writer for the NET&T magazine, Telephone Topics.

Cal rode the subway to and from Boston daily. On one such day, she was engrossed in a book written in German, unaware that she had caught the attention of a fellow rider, a dashing, German-born, young man. Deciding to take a chance, the gentleman approached Cal, asking if she would like help reading her book. To their delight, this was the beginning of a wonderful relationship that lasted over 53 years.

Marrying in 1958, the Ecksteins made their home in Woburn. The following year, they brought a daughter into the world, followed by a son in 1961. In 1964, Cal and Werner opened Eckstein’s Jewelers on Main Street in Woburn. There they worked together until retirement in 1998. Many local families will remember buying an engagement ring, diamonds, silver and gold charms and bracelets or purchasing their cherished heirloom clocks or having them repaired at Eckstein’s.

Although raising her children was Cal’s main joy, she was very active in the community. An avid reader, she was a member of Friends of the Library at Woburn Public Library. She shared her love of the written word with others by starting a reading group at New Horizons, an independent and assisted living facility in Woburn. With a passion for helping others, she volunteered at the EMARC, an organization that provided support for adults with developmental disabilities. Cal volunteered as a tutor for ESL adults, and also served for several years as a volunteer deputy Probation Officer for teens and young women coming through the Woburn District Court system.

Cal’s most precious times were those spent with her family. Backyard cookouts and going on foliage rides to the White Mountains. Holidays were her favorite time and she would often have a house full of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She enjoyed visiting museums, outdoor concerts held at the library, and going to plays, whether in Boston or those put on by local theater groups. Throwing frequent holiday parties with her family and many friends gave her tremendous joy. To brighten up the festivities, Cal and Werner would break out the music, she playing the piano alongside her husband, who played the accordion and with friends on the violin and banjo.

Cal lives on in the hearts of her beloved children Carla M. Boehm of Londonderry, NH, son-in-law Charles A. Boehm of Manchester, NH, son Gregory W. Eckstein, his wife Joyce Cori-Eckstein of Andover. She was the loving “Mum” to granddaughters Katherine, Alyssa, Erica, and Sara Boehm as well as loving “Grammy” to Matthew Eckstein and devoted great-grandmother of Braeden Boehm and Brookelyn and Rilynn Michaud.

All who wish to remember Cal, are invited to join her family at a Celebration of Life Open House, New Horizons, 21 Warren Avenue, Woburn, where Mary recently resided. Light refreshments will be served from 11:00 a.m. to 1:15p.m., with a Service at 1:30p.m., Saturday, July 1st. Again, all are welcome. Remembrances may be made in Cal’s honor, to the Alzheimer’s Association ( or to a charity of one’s choice.


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  1. Dear Eckstein family:

    I am so sorry to learn of Cal’s passing. She was a valuable member of our Library Friends organization for many years. She was especially involved in planning the Friends’ annual holiday event in December. My most sincere condolences to all of you.

    Kathleen O’Doherty, retired Woburn Public Library Director

  2. Dear Carla and family,
    Sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. Blessings to all.
    Denise Frasca Barrett

  3. Condolences on the loss of your mother. Your mother and my mother were friends at New Horizons. I met your mother at New Horizons several times – she was very kind and sweet.

    Ruth Kostyla (daughter of Rozanne Theodore)

  4. Joan Brown: My condolences for the loss of your loved one, and may you find comfort in Almighty Gods future promises to mankind to rid His earth of everything that causes us pain, suffering and sorrow. Please read from your copy of Gods written word, the Bible to see those promises at Acts 24:15. Isaiah 25:8. Isaiah 33:24

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