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Obituary: Joseph P. Callanan Sr., 87, Navy Veteran of WWII

Obituary: Joseph P. Callanan Sr., 87, Navy Veteran of WWII
Joseph P. Callanan, Sr., 87, of Newport, RI, passed away peacefully on May 19, 2014 at Newport Village House. He was one of seven children born to Francis and Emily (Devine) Callanan. A lifelong resident of Rhode Island, he spent his childhood years in Warwick and Providence, and later years on Aquidneck Island.

He enlisted in the service, proudly serving in the Navy, onboard the USS Westmoreland during the latter part of World War II, Returning home, he worked in several area businesses before joing Providence Ironworkers Local #37 from which he retired in 1988. During this time, he met and married his wife, Barbara (Brennan) in 1951. They were married for 36 years until her passing in 1987.

Joe was an enthusiastic gardener and was proud of the gardens at his homes in Warwick and then North Kingstown. He took pleasure in growing many kinds of vegetables. He was an avid reader and enjoyed all types of books, especially those dealing with gardening techniques.

He loved road trips, whether they were for a Sunday afternoon drive or a cross country trip to visit family. He packed his van for many trips to the Midwest to be present for special occasions in the lives of his grandchildren. In his later years, he took great pleasure visiting his son and family in Europe and his cousins in Ireland.

After moving to Middletown, he was often seen walking Newport's First Beach, earning him the name "Joe the Beach Walker". He loved his daily walks on the beach, serching for treasures and talking with his many friends.

Besides his parents and his wife, he was predeceased by brothers, Thomas, William, and Andrew Callanan, and his sister, Sr. Frances Callanan, F.M.M.

He is survived by seven children, Betty (Bill) Sepe of Ohio, Joseph Jr. (Joanne) and Nancy (Darrell) Miller, all of Missouri, Kathleen (John) Brooks of Middletown, RI, Barbara (Mark) Smith of Warwick, Daniel (Terri) of Washington State, and Karen (Mark) Reynolds of Carolina, RI; 25 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters, Rita Trenn and Patricia Cotter, sisters-in-law, Marilyn Brennan and Mary Callanan, and many nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours were on Thursday, May 22, 2014 from 4-7 pm in Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport, RI. 

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 10 am in St. Joseph Catholic Church, Broadway at Mann Avenue, Newport, RI. Interment with Military Honors will take place at Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Exeter, RI.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 245 Waterman Street, Suite 306, Providence, RI 02906 or to the Village House Activities Fund, 70 Harrison Avenue, Newport, RI 02840.

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