Jimmy was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on September 22, 1953 and passed away surrounded by loved ones August 6, 2020. He grew up with 4 siblings, Don, Karen, Tommy, and Joy. With five kids in the house, Bill and Lucile Callahan had their hands full. The Callahans moved several times and eventually landed in Springville, Alabama, where he met and married his high school sweetheart, Kathy Galbreath Callahan. They married August 1, 1971 and had a beautiful baby girl the next year. With the Vietnam War going on, Jimmy wanted to serve his country. He joined the National Guard in 1972 and was deployed twice over the years; once during Desert Storm and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Jimmy was a whiz at building and fixing things and worked many years in construction. However, when he and Kathy had two more girls in 1981 and 1983, he needed a steadier income and a job that provided benefits for his family. He took a job at the St. Clair County Correctional Facility. He often saw the worst of humanity and was even attacked with a razor by a prisoner, but he never complained about his chosen career. He was just doing what had to be done to take care of his family. During that time, he got his GED and went to school to get his certification to be a Firefighter/EMT. He was a member of Springville Volunteer Fire Department and served with them for many years. When it became clear that there was a need for fire protection for people outside the Springville city limits, he helped found the Davis Lake Volunteer Fire Department in 1999. He was their first fire chief and served in that role until 2005 when he was deployed to Germany with the National Guard. He retired from the correctional facility in 2015 and spent his time doing a variety of hobbies and keeping his grandkids.
Jimmy didn’t do anything halfway. When he started a hobby, he invested all his time, energy, and usually a good bit of money in that hobby. He enjoyed hunting and fishing. He had a love of oldies music. His girls grew up listening to Frankie Vallie, the Beach Boys, and the Beatles. He loved old cars and could tell you the make and models of vintage cars, even restoring a 1957 Chevrolet to pristine condition. He was an expert on airplanes. He knew what each airplane was, what it was used for, and what war it was used in. He could do the same with guns and was an expert marksman on the pistol team at the correctional facility. He had strong opinions on food. Some might even call him picky. However, he loved fried chicken and plain, white rice.
Jimmy was preceded in death by his father, Bill Callahan, and his brother, Don Callahan. He is survived by his mother, Lucile, his beautiful wife of 49 years, Kathy, his daughters, Alysia (Steven) Reisman, Brandi (Scott) Churchill, and Celeste (David) Romano. He is also survived by his seven grandkids: Sarah and Katie Reisman, Kinley, Carson and Lucy Churchill, and Elizabeth and Anna Romano. He is also survived by his siblings Karen (Steven) Porterfield, Tommy (Jackie) Callahan, and Joy (Wes) Samford. He has numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins that will miss him. He was an extraordinary person and hero to many.
Visitation will be at Springville First United Methodist Church in the CLC on August 12, 2020. A family only visitation will be from 11 am to 12 pm. A public visitation will start at noon and the service will begin at one. Jimmy will be interred at Springville Cemetery with a military graveside service. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Davis Lake Fire Department or Springville First United Methodist Church.