James life began May 19, 1955 in Camden, Ouachita County, Arkansas, born to Albert James Calahan and Mae Francis Cranford-Calahan. His parents, paternal/maternal grandparents and three siblings: Jerry Calahan; Billy Ray Calahan and Bernice Delores Calahan-Clary preceded him in death.
During his growth, Camden, Ouachita County, Arkansas had two public school districts (Camden and Fairview ISD’s) with four high and elementary schools. The Camden/Fairview schools for whites and the Lincoln/Lafayette schools for blacks. He began his attendance at J.W. Murray Elementary, Lafayette Junior High and continued his schooling at Fairview High School after the closure and consolidation of Lafayette within the Fairview ISD System.
While in high school, James participated in various school activities. He was very involved in church activities at the Mt. Gillard Baptist Church, Camden, Arkansas where he committed his life to Christ and was baptized.
James graduated May 21, 1973 from Fairview High School of Camden, Arkansas. After graduation, he joined the United States Navy serving several tours overseas until his honorable discharged June 9, 1978 at the rank of E-5. He was discharged from the Navy reserve June 12, 1980.
James was the youngest of his four siblings who also proudly served with honor in The United State Armed Services: one in the Air Force, two in the Army and two within the Navy.
After discharge, James moved to Austin, Texas in 1978 and began to work in welding until he was able to qualify for the Austin Fire Department. He Joined the Austin Fire Department in1980 and was assigned to work at several fire stations until his retirement in 2004. After retirement; James worked part-time for Hasse Enterprises Inc. DBA: Safequip, Inc. for sixteen years certifying fire hydrants on private properties around the city of Austin until his health began to fail in 2019.
James served as PTA President at Pecan Springs Elementary School; Pearce Junior High School and PTA Officer at LBJ High School. He was very involved in creating safety measures for students at the LBJ High School following a fatal loss of one student life crossing US Highway 183. He compassionate about children educational growth, development and tried to exemplify it through his volunteerism.
He received numerous awards and recognitions: The Pecan Springs Elementary School holds a day in his honor every year for being an outstanding PTA President; volunteered with Austin Independent School District; Volunteer Interviewer for the Austin Fire Department; Austin Fire Fighter Medal of Merit Award; Dr. Hobart l. Gaines Human Relations Award; AISD Community Service Award, The State of Texas Outstanding Service Award; Veterans of Foreign Wars Certificate of Appreciation and many more recognitions.
James Frederick Calahan is survived by two children: Mr. Jarrod Walls Calahan (Shaquita) of Austin, Texas; and Minister James Frederick Walls Calahan (Lisa) of Austin, Texas. Four grandchildren: Kayne Calahan, Hillsboro, TX ; Jarrod Calahan, San Antonio, TX; Israel Calahan, Austin, TX; and Zion Calahan, Austin, TX. Four siblings Pastor Horace (H. Ed) Calahan and Juanita Yvette Calahan, Austin, Texas; Harlen James Calahan (Renee),of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Terry Conrad Calahan (Sheron), of Camden, Arkansas. One uncle, Rev. Harold J. Calaham, Detroit, Michigan; two Aunts Nora J. Primm, Dallas, TX/Camden, Arkansas and Gloria D. Fountain, Camden, Arkansas and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, a longtime friends, Lowell Sanders, Lester Graham, Jr., Camden, Arkansas, Kevin Primm (Cousin), Dallas, Texas, other relatives and friends.
Although gone physically, James presence will always be with us through all those precious memories and that captivating smile. We love you brother.
Celebration of Life Memorial Services:
Celebration of Life Memorial Service for James F. Calahan, Saturday, June 6, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. will be livestreamed from The St. James CMB Church, 3417 E MLK Jr Blvd, Austin, Texas 78721.
We know that due to COVID-19 many want to attend and celebrate with us now you can thru livestream thanks to The St. James CMB Church family.
If you do decide to attend, please know that we will be in compliance with current CDC Guidelines: wearing mask and observing social distancing.
Please If you are sick, feverish or been in contact with someone who may have virus symptoms, please stay at home.
Please know that we understand, we love you and will benefit from your continued thoughts and prayers. Thank you.
The Calahan Family
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