Bluefield, WV- The Rev. Griffin Clay Callahan, 93, of College Ave., Bluefield, WV, died Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, at Westwood Center in Bluefield, VA.
Born in Bluefield, WV, on Oct. 31, 1919, he was the son of the late Griffin Elwood Callahan and Marion Claytor Callahan. Mr. Callahan spent his childhood years in Bluefield, graduating from Bluefield Junior College in 1938. He was graduated from the College of William & Mary and Virginia Theological Seminary and in 1944 was ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church. He began his ministry in Greenbrier and Monroe counties where he was the rector of six parishes during the mid-1940s. He served many congregations in West Virginia during his years as an active priest and was also assistant rector at Calvary church in Pittsburgh, PA. He returned to West Virginia in 1960 as rector of Trinity church in Parkersburg where he served until his retirement in 1974. During his years in the ministry, Mr. Callahan worked on the staff of many youth camps and served on the board of the YMCA. In the mid-1940s he was involved in the establishment and building of Peterkin Conference Center in Romney, WV, the youth camp and retreat center for the Episcopal Diocese of WV. In the 1950s he reached out to many people through live television broadcasts of his shows, The Parsons Mailbox on station WSAZ in Huntington and The Parsons Study on station WIIC in Pittsburgh. He served as supervisor of the Little Kanawha Soil and Water Conservation District while in Parkersburg and served as the chaplain to the Civil Air Patrol in Beckley in the late 1980s. After his retirement, Mr. Callahan worked for the ZEP Manufacturing Co. for several years and also served as a supply priest for congregations in southern WV and southwest VA.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Marion Callahan Waldo Hanzlik, and by the mother of his children, Elizabeth (Betty) Boykin Callahan.
Survivors include his wife of 29 years, Mary Elizabeth (Libby) Burton Callahan. He is also survived by his children, Louise Chambers of Washington, DC; Lissa Lundberg and her husband McKee of Phoenix, AZ; Griffin Callahan and his wife Lynne of Itmann, WV; Marion Dunmore and her husband Miles of London, England; Bruce Callahan of Richmond, VA; a stepson, Stuart Burton and his wife Brenda of Grove City, OH; a stepdaughter, Barbara Grigg and her husband Rick of Fairmont, WV; eleven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
The Rev. Griffin Callahan was a one-of-a-kind servant of his Lord and a loyal son of West Virginia. He lived his life in constant motion, touching the lives and hearts of a multitude of people. May he know Gods eternal peace beyond all hope and understanding.
The funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, at Christ Episcopal Church in Bluefield, WV, with Bishop Mike Klusmeyer officiating. Friends may visit with the family one hour prior to the service and at a reception at the church after the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to: Peterkin Fund, Diocese of WV, P.O. Box 5400, Charleston, WV 25361
Those wishing to share memories or condolence messages with the family may do so by visiting www.MercerFuneralHome.com Mercer Funeral Home in Bluefield, WV, is in charge of arrangements.