Banner Witcoff Remembers Partner James Callahan

Banner Witcoff remembers friend and partner James Callahan.

James V. “Jim” Callahan, age 89, a resident of Lisle, IL, formerly of Wheaton and Glencoe, IL, passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 6, 2023, surrounded by his family at Brookdale of Lisle, IL. He was born on August 17, 1933, in Chicago, IL.

Beloved husband of Nancy J. Callahan (nee Sickels), whom he married on August 2, 1958, loving father of Maureen (Doug) Green of Alameda, CA, James V. Callahan, Jr. of Clarendon Hills, IL, Barbara (Paul) Kopchak of Naperville, Ed (Kate) Callahan of Park Ridge, IL, Kathleen Callahan of Evanston, IL and Daniel (the late Gretchen) Callahan of Highland Park, IL, adored grandfather of Haley and Devin Green; Anna, Lucy and Vincent Kopchak; Meghan and Ryan Callahan; Riley (fiancé, Jack Bellavia) Callahan, Claire and Dylan Callahan, devoted son of the late Edward and Josephine (nee Tyrrell) Callahan, brother of the late Ed Callahan and the late Nancy Holland, brother-in-law of William (the late Rebecca) Sickels, and the late Mary Hahne (nee Sickels), fond uncle, great-uncle, and friend of many.

Jim grew up on Chicago’s North Side where he was a member of St. Timothy’s Catholic Church. Jim was a life-long, proud northside White Sox fan and a lifelong ardent, if not rabid, Notre Dame fan.

Jim was a proud Dragon at St. George High School, formerly in Evanston. Jim followed in the footsteps of his beloved father and attended the University of Notre Dame where he earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1955. A lifelong Domer, Jim rarely, if ever, missed a Notre Dame football game. If the team was not performing up to his standards, children, and those with sensitive ears, were well warned to steer clear.

Jim roomed with John McCall at Notre Dame, who, as kismet would have it, grew up with Nancy Sickels. Jim and Nancy met at John and Kathy McCall’s wedding when lightning struck both. Jim and Nancy married on August 2, 1958, and remained utterly in love and devoted to each other for the rest of Jim’s life.

Jim attended Loyola University School of Law and earned his JD and passed the bar in 1959, immediately following the birth of his first of six children, Maureen. Jim worked as a successful patent attorney for 56 years, earning the admiration of many colleagues and his family. Jim’s daughter Kathleen decided to follow Jim’s example by also becoming an attorney. Jim decided to retire at the young age of eighty.

Jim raised his family in Glencoe, IL and was a faithful member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Despite his busy legal career, Jim was an unusually involved Dad, especially for the 1960s and 1970s. Jim never balked at changing diapers, any form of childcare, was home for dinner every night and took his large family on a yearly 2-week summer vacation. None of his children are quite sure how he was able to drive with six children in the back of a station wagon all over the country.

An avid sports fan, Jim especially enjoyed Chicago Bears football and for many years attended all home games with his sons.

Jim and Nancy were each other’s right hand. Their dedication to each other was truly something to behold. They enjoyed many years travelling the country, and Europe. Jim truly had the Irish gift of the gab and rarely left a restaurant or social event, be it in his beloved Chicago or Ireland or Europe, without making a connection or a new friend.

Jim was thrilled when his children started having grandchildren and reveled in the fun and chaos of family parties with his children and ten grandchildren.

Jim lived and loved life to its fullest. We miss him tremendously but are forever grateful for the blessing he was in our lives.

A memorial visitation will be held on Saturday, July 15, 2023, 9:30-10:30 AM at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 1500 Brookdale Rd., Naperville.

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, 10:30 AM in the church.

Inurnment will follow at SS. Peter & Paul Cemetery, Naperville.

Arrangements by Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Naperville, IL.

For more information, please call (630) 355-0213 or visit
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James , please visit our floral store.

Posted: July 12, 2023

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