All Faiths Cremation Service, LLC Funeral Home
6119 Tyler Place
WEST ESSEX, NJ - Thomas (Tom) A. Callahan Sr. passed away at the age of 73 at his home in Manahawkin on Wednesday, Sept. 4. Callahan, formerly of West Orange, was the owner of West Essex Jewelers in West Caldwell and was well known to the Irish community. Funeral arrangements have been made through the The Dangler Funeral Home in West Orange.
Callahan was born in Orange and grew up in West Orange. He was the past General Chairman of the NJ Garden State Irish Festival and in 1998 was honored as the Grand Marshal of the West Orange Saint Patrick's Day Parade. As a vital member of the New Jersey Irish community, he was also an active participant in the following organizations:
"This is a big loss to the Irish community and all of his friends," commented former NJ Irish Festival Chair Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin. "I still can see him outside his store waving people in just to to catch up and say hi." Giblin went on to describe his appreciation for Callahan's business acumen and called him a "tremendous man who was always charming to his customers." The assemblyman went on to say that, "many a couple in the area got their engagement and wedding rings from Tom" and that he "individualized every sale and would bend over backwards to help someone in need by either setting them up with credit or layaway."
Callahan was well known for his enthusiasm for all things Irish not just in Northern New Jersey, but down the shore and in the New York Irish community as well. Giblin went on to say, "Tom was proud of his Irish heritage whether it was as General Chairman of the NJ Irish Festival or as Grand Marshal of the West Orange parade. My condolences to the Callahan family."
Assemblyman John McKeon, the 2013 Grand Marshal of the West Orange St. Patrick's Parade commented, "Mr. Callahan was a real role model to all as a businessman, father, and a proud member of the Irish community. His example will live through the many people he touched."
Tom Callahan, 1998 Grand Marshal of the West Orange Saint Patrick's Day Parade
Credit: Rob Swenson
As a West Caldwell business owner, Callahan was a fixture at community events and would often donate to local fundraising efforts. West Caldwell Mayor Joseph Tempesta, Jr. commented, "Tom Callahan was a great friend, a quintessential small business owner and a big supporter of our community. He was the pied piper of the West Essex area - always smiling, knowing the names of most of his customers and always caring about your family and asking about the kids or mom or dad or even grandpa or grandma. I will miss him. Our community has lost a good friend, a good man and a great father and grandfather."
The arrangements for the Wake, Funeral Mass and Burial are as follows:
The Dangler Funeral Home of West Orange
340 Main St., West Orange
- Sunday, Sept. 8
3pm to 6pm
- Monday, Sept. 9
4pm to 8pm
- Sunday, Sept. 8
Tuesday, Sept. 10
Thomas A. Jr. and his wife, Ann Marie
Brian and his wife, Joanne
- His Siblings
- His Grandchildren
Lauren, Thomas, Courtney, and Kate
In lieu of flowers, donations in Callahan’s memory are being welcomed at:
- West Caldwell Care Center
165 Fairfield Avenue
West Caldwell, N.J. 07006
Notes of sympathy may be written to the family online here.