Malverne Deputy Mayor passed away Thursday afternoon at the age of 42 at a local hospital.
Callahan had spent the past seven weeks at North Shore University Hospital after on April 9. During his stay, doctors discovered Callahan had an aggressive form of cancer, as well as further complications that impeded his recovery.
He died at 2:45 p.m. on May 26, with family and friends at his side. Malverne Mayor Patricia Norris McDonald, who had that Callahan's condition was "grave," sat bedside along with other members of the village board, police and DPW in recent days.
Trustee Joseph Hennessy, who first started working with Callahan 12 years ago when Jim was a village prosecutor, said his goodbyes last week.
"I told him we fought a lot of good fights and did a lot of good things for the village," Hennessy said. "Jim's background in law and dedication to the village made him an important part of this board...His talent will be hard to replace."
Trustee Jack O'Brien said Callahan's sudden health decline came as a shock to him, adding, "It was too quick for a young man."
Only days before Callahan had suffered his first stroke, he was sworn in for his fourth term on the village board by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano. (Callahan also worked for Mangano as the County's Commissioner of Emergency Management.)
Mangano issued the following statement Thursday night: "Well-respected among the community and emergency preparedness industry, Jim Callahan's dedication to keeping Nassau County safe and prepared in this ever-changing world deserves the highest recognition and sincere gratitude of our residents. This is a tragic day for the County of Nassau as we mourn the loss of a great public servant."
"It was a loss for the County as well as the village and Jim's family," O'Brien said.
In addition to being a great leader, many residents will remember Callahan as a wonderful family man, a devoted husband and father to his children, Thomas, 12, Katherine, 9, Elizabeth,6, and Christina, 3. For most, their last memory of Callahan will be when he thanked his family and his wife, Patricia, during his induction speech.
"I wouldn't say I'm great by any stretch of the means, but behind this man is my great wife, Patricia," Callahan said. "Without her constant support I wouldn't be able to do the things I do. Thanks for understanding me, putting up with me and I love you."
Trustee Hennessy said that the village would hold a special tribute to Callahan but plans had not been made yet.
"The village board stands ready to do anything to help Patricia and the kids," he added. "Our hearts go out to them."