By Liz Oakes
The Cincinnati Enquirer
HARRISON TWP. - H. Thomas Callan served his country in World War II, and then served his community for decades afterward as a township trustee and volunteer firefighter.
Mr. Callan, 77, died at Mercy Franciscan Hospital in Harrison on Sunday.
"He was always well liked because he was very fair and honest in his dealings, and just friendly - a people person," said his daughter Sarah Shackelford of Harrison.
Mr. Callan was born in Lawrenceburg and grew up in the Harrison area. He attended Harrison High School, but quit to enlist in the Navy.
Her father was very proud of his military service, she said. He was on the amphibious transports that picked up and dropped off troops at the beaches of Iwo Jima, and he was also involved in the battle of Guadalcanal.
He stayed in contact with shipmates, and attended their annual reunions.
In 1948, he opened a filling station, Alf & Tom's Texaco in West Harrison with partner Alfred Rolfes. They ran the gas station together until 1963, when Mr. Callan sold his share of the business and founded Callan Oil Co. Inc.
Mr. Callan was CEO of Callan Oil, a fuel-distributing business in West Harrison, until he officially turned over the reins of the company to his son, Matthew Callan, about 10 years ago, his daughter said.
But Mr. Callan "never really stopped working," Shackelford said, helping with bookkeeping and other duties.
He was deeply involved in the community, as well as being an entrepreneur, his daughter said. Starting in 1960, he served as trustee of Harrison Township continuously, except for a two-year period after he lost one election, for 27 years.
He also was a member of a volunteer fire department in Harrison for 25 years, and served on the boards of the Harrison Township Water Corp. and the Harrison Cemetery Association. Mr. Callan was a member of the cemetery association, where he had been on the board of trustees since 1986, when he died.
Mr. Callan was a 50-year member of Snow Lodge No. 193 F&AM, and the Scottish Rite Valley of Cincinnati. He was also a member of J.B. Yeager American Legion Post No. 199 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Duwell Post No. 7570.
Besides his daughter Sarah, survivors include his wife, Gretchen; son, Matthew of Harrison Township; daughter Margaret L. McVaugh of West Chester; and one granddaughter.
Visitation is 5-8 p.m. today at John C. Brater Funeral Home, Harrison. Service will be 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home, with graveside military service following. Burial will be in Glen Haven Cemetery, Harrison.
Memorials may be made to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, care of the funeral home, 201 S. Vine St., Harrison, OH 45030.
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