LACONIA — Barbara B. Callahan, of Laconia, N.H. passed away on January 16, 2014 after a brief illness.
She was born Barbara Jean Bryant in Groton, MA Oct. 29, 1918 to Olive (Houghton) Bryant and Wallace Fillebrown Bryant of Harvard, MA. Her forebears were Yankee farmers and coastal New England seafaring folk. Her mother's family were among the earliest settlers of Harvard and Lancaster, MA. Their colonial garrison house, no longer in the family, still stands in the Still River section of Harvard. Barbara attended Concord Academy and Bromfield School. She attended American International College and graduated from Simmons College with a degree in library science. In 1942 she married Vincent J Callahan, also of Harvard, an officer in the United States Army. In 1947 they moved to N.H. and, with her brother Bradford, purchased the former George N Varney and Son boatyard on the Weirs Channel and renamed it Channel Marine. Vincent operated Channel Marine for 35 years until his retirement in 1982. Together they raised a family at their house on Channel Lane adjacent to their boatyard.
Mrs. Callahan worked as a librarian at the Laconia Public Library for a number of years. She was troop leader of a local troop of Girl Scouts and owner of an antique shop at the Weirs. She enjoyed New Hampshire: boating, hiking and skating on the ice in winter, and, in later life, yard sale-ing. She and her husband were among the group that sought to preserve the love of wooden boats by founding the Antique and Classic Boat Society and the New Hampshire Boat Museum. For several years she was a trustee of the museum. Their two steamboats were a feature on Lake Winnipesaukee for many years. In retirement they enjoyed their travels in Europe, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Vincent passed away in 1993. Barbara lived since 1992 in her house filled with teddy bears on Driftwood Lane by Lake Opechee in Laconia, N.H.
She is survived by her children Paige Rooney and her husband Robert of Belmont, N.H. and Bruce Callahan and wife Catherine of Thornton, N.H., her grandchildren Kim Sharon and husband Brian of Belmont, Kevin Rooney and wife Betsey of Jackson, Wyoming, and Finn Callahan of Thornton and by her great grandson Ryan Rooney. She will be remembered by those who knew her as a gentle, kind and loving person.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at the Beane Conference Center, 35 Blueberry Lane, Laconia, N.H.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her name may be sent to the N.H. Boat Museum, PO Box 1195 Wolfeboro Falls, NH 03896.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, N.H. is assisting the family with the arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial go to www.wilkinsonbeane.com.