Joan Marie Alford Callahan

November 6, 1933 ~ October 24, 2020 (age 86)


Joan Alford Callahan

Resident of Danville

November 6, 1933 to October 24, 2020

Joan Callahan passed away peacefully surrounded by family after a short battle with cancer. Her warm smile, infectious laugh, and kind demeanor will be missed by all who knew her.

Joan was born in Philadelphia, PA. She graduated with a BA in French from Chestnut Hill College and a MA in History from Villanova University. After college, she worked as a junior and senior high school English and history teacher. In 1959 she met Edwin Callahan at a Catholic picnic for singles. Ed fell in love with Joan at first sight and they were married 8 months later on February 13,1960. Joan and Ed were true soulmates and had a loving marriage for 47 years until Ed’s passing in 2007.

Joan and Ed moved from the east coast to Saratoga, California in 1964. They were active members of Sacred Heart Catholic parish where their children attended elementary school. In the 1970s Joan was involved in Bible Study Fellowship, an interdenominational women’s Bible study, which was a transformational experience for her. BSF deepened her Christian faith by igniting her love of Bible study and inspiring her to have a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In 1976, the family moved to Danville. They were active members of Community Presbyterian Church where Joan spent many years working with the high school youth group. Joan and Ed also participated in numerous mission trips to Mexico for home building and medical assistance. Later, Joan and Ed attended San Ramon Presbyterian Church where she served as an elder and deacon. She taught women’s Bible studies in the community for many years and continued to lead groups until spring of 2020. She accepted her diagnosis of terminal cancer with peace and grace. As her health declined, she always had a smile and a kind word for her family and caregivers.

Joan and Ed enjoyed travel, reading, hiking, museums, as well as going to the opera, symphony, and plays. Joan’s greatest love, however, was spending time with her family. She was a kind, patient, and dedicated mother and grandmother. She was deeply involved in the lives of all her grandchildren and regularly attended their various sporting and school events. After Ed’s passing, she frequently took her grandchildren on educational trips to the east coast to teach them about American history. She also enjoyed many family vacations in Hawaii.

Joan is survived by her five devoted children, Ed(Dulcy) of Denver, CO, Jeanne Taylor(Bob) of Alameda, CA, Christopher(Pam) of Portland, OR, Matthew(Kathy) of San Luis Obispo, CA and Marybeth McCullum(Craig) of Danville, CA, and eleven loving grandchildren; Nicolas and Mark Callahan of Denver, Jill and Grace Taylor of Alameda, Jack and Kate Callahan of Portland, Ruby, Noah and Jude Callahan of San Luis Obispo, and Garrett and Kyle McCullum of Danville, CA.

To watch a recording of Joan’s Celebration of Life from Nov. 28, 2020, please click on the following link:


In lieu of flowers please send donations to one of the many organizations Joan supported:

San Ramon Presbyterian Church

12943 Alcosta Blvd. San Ramon, CA 94583


San Francisco City Impact

136 Taylor Street San Francisco, CA 94102


Shepherd’s Gate

1660 Portola Ave. Livermore, CA 94551

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