John Gill Callahan, 74

John Gill Callahan

John Gill Callahan, who had lived and worked in Amagansett and East Hampton for many years, passed away peacefully at his home in Chestertown, Maryland, on April 4, 2019. He was 74 years old. Mr. Callahan is survived by his beloved wife, Jan, son, Josh, daughter-in-law, Jacqueline, and granddaughter, Alexandra, as well as sister Lynn and brothers Rory, Brian and Michael, and the younger generation Kim, Maris, Derek, Meagan, Eliza, Ryan and Kristin. He was predeceased by his brother Kevin in 2014.

Mr. Callahan lived life with gusto and became an international traveler at an early age. He and his family lived in Karachi, Pakistan where his father, John P. Callahan, was a New York Timesforeign correspondent. On their return from Pakistan, the Callahan family moved to Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., then to Amagansett where Mr. Callahan was a lifeguard and accomplished surfer while attending Southampton College. He then transferred to Godard College in Vermont, developing a passion for skiing which he continued to enjoy in Europe.

Prior to his four decades of service with American Airlines, Mr. Callahan was the chief purser on the SS United States and a purser on Grace Line passenger ships sailing between South American and Caribbean ports and the United States.

In recent years, Mr. Callahan was often called “Jack” due to his resemblance to Jack Nicholson, for whom he was asked to be the occasional movie stand-in. Often mistaken for the actor, Mr. Callahan with his characteristic good humor willingly obliged passersby with never ending requests for selfies.

Mr. Callahan was an inspiration to all who were fortunate to know him for his wonderful sense of humor, warmth and the courage and dignity with which he faced his illness.

A celebration of Mr. Callahan’s life will be held in Chestertown, Md., on Saturday, June 8, 2019 from 1 to 4 p.m.  Kindly RSVP to Jan Callahan at

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Compass Regional Hospice, 100 Coursevall Drive, Centreville, Md. 21617.