Posted on June 15, 2021
WAKEFIELD — Both Thomas F. Callahan, Jr., “Tom”, 90 of Wakefield, and his wife of 66 years Elizabeth (Norton) Callahan, “Betty” died at their Wakefield home. Thomas died on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, Elizabeth, just seven months later Wednesday November 18, 2020.
Born in Boston on March 13, 1930, Thomas was the son of the late Thomas F. and Helen (McCarthy) Callahan.
Thomas was a graduate of South Boston High School, Class of 1947 and had attended Northeastern University. Thomas was a retired Electrical Engineer in Robotics at the Artificial Intelligence Lab at M.I.T., Symbolics and LISP Machine. After retiring from M.I.T., he was one of the founders of a startup company The Thinking Machine and was instrumental in the creation of the Connection Machine Super Computer. He served in the United States Navy during the Korean War.
Thomas enjoyed spending time in his workshop, boating and watching football – his favorite team the New England Patriots.
Elizabeth was born in Waltham on September 21, 1930; she was the daughter of the late James E. and Catherine C. (Horgan) Norton.
Elizabeth was raised in Medford and was a graduate of Medford High School, Class of 1948. She enjoyed playing the piano, horse back riding and spending time at Hampton Beach. After high school she worked for the John Hancock Insurance company in Boston. While her children were in school, she took a job at Walton Elementary school in the lunchroom and later worked at the lunch bar for Bradlees in Woburn.
Elizabeth enjoyed knitting and made her grandsons plenty of hats, mittens, sweaters, and blankets. She enjoyed sewing, making clothes for her daughters and herself. She was known for her homemade cakes, cookies, brownies, and whoopee pies. Elizabeth enjoyed people watching and had a unique gift of just talking with people and getting to know them. She would never miss her children’s sporting events or concerts. This carried through to her eight grandsons, baby sitting and watching their sporting events. She and Thomas were very active in their grandsons’ lives.
Thomas and Elizabeth were married September 19, 1953. First living in Dorchester, then in 1957 moved to Wakefield to raise their children. Elizabeth and Thomas enjoyed over twenty years wintering in Venice Isle, Florida. They were very active at their community Al Del Mar, enjoying the pool, beach and their many friends. In the summer they enjoyed visiting Maine, Cape Cod and many a summer day on their boat, the Irish Rover, at the Winthrop Yacht club. Thomas and Elizabeth enjoyed traveling the world with their lifelong friends the Gallaghers and the Hunts.
Thomas and Elizabeth were married for 66 years. They are the loving parents of Thomas Callahan and his wife, Elizabeth, of Wilmot, New Hampshire; Cynthia Dickey and her husband, David, of Yarmouth; Linda Callahan Thurlow of York, Maine and her former husband, Jeffrey Thurlow, of Scarborough, Maine; and Brenda Hudd and her husband, Stephen, of Wakefield. They are also survived by eight grandsons; Matthew and Kevin Callahan, David and Christopher Dickey, Daniel and Ryan Thurlow and Thomas and Patrick Hudd. Elizabeth was the sister of the late Catherine O’Donnell and her husband, Gerald. Thomas was the brother of John Callahan and his wife, Cathy, of Tewksbury; and his sister Agnes Burlone and husband, Fred, of Halifax. Thomas was also the brother of the late Marie Belanger, Ann Dicicco and Joan Sablock.
A special thank you to Maureen and Joanna of Care Dimensions and Audrey Hall for taking such wonderful care of our parents.
A funeral mass for Thomas and Elizabeth will be celebrated in St. Joseph Church, 173 Albion St., Wakefield on Friday, June 18 at 10 a.m. Interment, Lakeside Cemetery, Wakefield. Arrangements in the care of the McDonald Funeral Home, Wakefield.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contribution may be made to Care Dimensions, 75 Sylvan Street, Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923.