John O'Callaghan III
February 21, 1931 - June 3, 2020
U.S. Armed Forces Veteran
ObituaryOur father and friend, John Joseph O’Callaghan III, passed away peacefully June 3, 2020 in Dallas after a long and courageous fight with numerous strokes and Covid-19. He was 89 years old.
John was preceded in death by his parents John Joseph O’Callaghan II, and Eula Leora Giles and his brother William Neal who died in childhood. He is survived by his wife Dixie Lee Brewer and two children Michael Joseph “Mickey” (spouse Judy Roy), their children Rachael Fordinal (spouse Justin Fordinal) and sons Keller and Reid, Ryan O’Callaghan (spouse Amanda) and Danna Lynn Harrington (spouse Tom), their children Thomas (spouse Alicia), Kathleen, and Victoria Harrington.
John was born in Memphis, Tenn on Feb 21, 1931. He attended Nicholas Blackwell High School where “Joe”, as he was known, was active in the band, the Beta club and was a reporter for the high school paper, The Gleaner. He graduated in 1949.
After high school, John enrolled in 1950 at “Ole Miss” as a freshman engineering student. Then the Korean conflict started in June 1950 and he enlisted in the Marines. After completing basic training at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, he was deployed to Korea. He can be seen along with others from his squad in the Korean War movie Retreat Hell, filmed in 1952 at camp Pendleton. Upon returning to the US, he continued to serve and was involved in the nuclear testing in Nevada.
Following his discharge from the marines, John enrolled at Memphis State in 1955 and 1956. During this time he met Dixie Lee Brewer and they were married on January 27, 1956. They remained married for 64 years until his death. They settled in Memphis and had two children, Mickey, born in 1958 and Danna, born in 1959.
In 1968, John joined the Kroger Corp. He was transferred to Cleveland, Ohio for a 2 year training period. Anyone who visited John and Dixie in Cleveland could be sure of a trip to Niagara Falls. He was transferred to Irving, TX in 1970. A few years later he left Kroger to join Roadway Express where he spent the rest of his working career. He went on to get licensed in heat and air conditioning and continued that work for more than 20 years.
During his kid’s high school years, John loved attending Mickey’s football and baseball games and Danna’s marching band performances at Nimitz High School from 1972-1977.
After attending Irving Bible Church for several years, John and Dixie left to become founding members of Community Bible Church in 1986. At Community Bible, John and Dixie were very active members. John was always quick to jump in and fix whatever needed to be fixed, from autos to air conditioners. He was known for having a great work ethic, never complaining, and always having a smile on his face.
During this time, John and Dixie helped establish the International Student ministry at University of Dallas along with Bob and Rosella Sweely. They became host parents, sponsoring home Bible studies and got deeply involved in mentoring Asian students coming to Irving to study at U of D. Several of John’s mentoring relationships resulted in commitments to serve Christ and a legacy of Christian witness that has continued today as these students return to their home country to live and raise families of their own.
In recent years he loved hearing from and visiting with his 5 grandkids and 2 great grandsons. John delighted in the academic achievements and work being done by all of his grandkids. He was very proud of them and the fine citizens they have become. He connected with each of them in a meaningful and personal way and at every possible opportunity.
More recently, John enjoyed passing his knowledge of computer systems to others by teaching introductory computer skills to seniors at Irving Senior Citizens association. He also loved to read westerns, mystery and sci-fi novels, watch PBS, National Geographic channel, History Channel, and Discovery Channel. Over the past 3 years at the Northgate Plaza Nursing home, he would join Dixie in the dining room for lunch each day.
There will be a private burial for John on Tuesday, June 9th at the VA National Cemetery in Dallas, TX in compliance with the current social distancing restrictions.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Caminar Juntos, the ministry of Ryan and Amanda O’Callaghan (Mickey’s son and daughter-in-law). John and Dixie delighted in supporting the work of their grandson and his wife and would love for you to join them as they work to support impoverished families who are unable to work and provide food during this difficult time. To make an online donation, go to:
Paypal: www.paypal.me/ocallaghans2017 or Venmo: www.venmo.com/ocallaghans2017
Date: June 9, 2020
Time: 10:15 am