Jeanette (Manders) Callahan, 88, of Dubuque, passed away peacefully on Friday, July 16, at Stonehill Care Center.
Visitation will be from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. today at the Egelhof, Siegert and Casper Funeral Home and Crematory, 2659 Kennedy Road, with a scripture wake service at 7:30. Funeral service will be held Wednesday, July 21, at 10:30 a.m. at Cathedral of St. Raphael in Dubuque, with Rev. Martin Coolidge officiating. Burial will follow at St. Michael Cemetery in Galena, Il.
Jeanette was born September 29, 1932, in Dubuque, IA, the daughter of Elmer and Mildred (Stork) Manders and sister to Don and Dorrance, who she adored. Jeanette unfortunately lost her father in 1955, but was later blessed to have Joe Manternach as step-father and gain 16 step-siblings.
She graduated high school from the Visitation Academy in 1942, known as “Buckets Manders” for her feats on the basketball court. She then traveled to California in her early twenties, spurring her lifelong passion for adventure.
Jeanette was united in marriage to John (Jack) Callahan on October 5, 1957. They started their family in Dubuque, but later moved to a hobby farm in Sherrill where they raised their eight children with love and an endless supply of laughter. They made lifelong friends in Sherrill, sharing many laughs at the ball field, biking in Lanesboro, and playing euchre. Stories of Jeanette will always be shared amongst these great friends over a Manhattan (or two).
Jeanette was an athlete throughout life and was well known for her golf game, leaving a trail of birdies throughout the Dubuqueland area. It may have seemed that Jeanette’s #1 job was following her kids to various sporting activities, but she also wallpapered and took pictures for MLS for many years. She would often say that she did so to support her many hobbies. She was an avid reader who loved poetry and was a proud collector of Pulitzer Prize books. Jeanette also loved gardening, photography, music and travel. She was a natural teacher and shared her love for nature and science with others.
After raising kids, Jeanette dedicated much of her time volunteering in the community. She was a teaching assistant at Fulton School and guide at E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center. Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Garden became Jeanette’s second home. She was part of the gift shop renovation and provided guided tours. Jeanette was especially proud of the Three Billy Goats Gruff scene she designed and created. She established a blue bird colony, maintained over 30 blue bird houses and became known as the “Blue Bird Lady”.
Surviving are 8 children: Sue (Al) Dix, of Dubuque, Mary (Stuart) Mabusth, of Minneapolis, MN, John (Julie) Callahan, Jean (Jay) McDonald, Joel (Cindy) Callahan, Ann (Dale) Cummer, all of Dubuque, Jim (Renee) Callahan, of Bettendorf, IA, and Vicki (Dean) Jensen, of Parnell, IA.
27 grandchildren: Erin (Ben) Davis, Caitlin (Kyle) Frommelt; Jared, Nolan, and Drew Mabusth; Matt Althaus, Katrina Althaus, Kody Callahan, Kyle (Natalie) Callahan, and Mariel Callahan; Erin (Shaun) Cavanaugh, Dillon Hefel, Molly and Meghan McDonald; Stephanie, Joey and Zachary Callahan; Rachel, Ryan, and Will Cummer; Jackson, Tyger, Maylee, Kimbree, and Jerry Callahan; Caleb and Maggie Jensen.
7 Great-grandchildren: Aubrey, Wyatt, and William Davis; Amara Althaus, Charlotte and Quinn Callahan; James Cavanaugh.
Surviving are in-laws: Patricia Manders, Marilyn Callahan, Barbara Callahan, Mary Ann Dalsing, Tony and Betty Callahan, Denny and Shirley Donovan, and Manternach family.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack; her parents; step-father; brothers, Don and Dorrance Manders; sister in-law, Mary Lou Manders; several Manternach step-siblings; in-laws; Dorothy and Ray Callahan, Don Callahan, Chuck Callahan and Nilus Dalsing.
The family would like to thank those who assisted in her care at Bell Tower Retirement Community in East Dubuque, River Bend Retirement Community in Cascade, Stonehill Care Center, and Hospice of Dubuque. Special thanks to Patti, Sue, and granddaughter Katrina, who dedicated so much loving care at the end of her life.
In lieu of flowers and to continue Jeanette’s legacy, memorials may be given to the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.
Jeanette was a fun companion with an endless appreciation for life. She will be sadly missed.