California from Boston, she applied for a position with the city of
Burbank. With her extraordinary secretarial skills and shorthand,
Callahan was hired as an executive secretary for the city manager.
For 30 years, Callahan worked at City Hall, serving five city
managers, beginning with Howard Stitz in 1936 and ending her career with
her retirement in 1966 shortly after Joe Baker retired.
"We used to call her the Queen Bee, because she ran everything," said
Mary Jane Strickland, founder of the Burbank Historical Society.
Callahan's nephew agreed. "She did everything," he said, adding that
she was a "one-man band."
Even after Callahan retired, people she had known during her years at
City Hall recognized her, said her nephew, who would take her out to
dinner at local restaurants where police and fire department employees
would often stop at their table to say hello.
During World War II, Callahan volunteered in the evenings as a civil
defense worker, searching the skies for enemy planes.
A stylish dresser who took great pride in her appearance, Callahan did
not marry until she was 60. For many years, she was busy caring for her
aging parents. When her husband, John Grady, became ill, Callahan also
took care of him before his death six years ago. "She was a giver of love
and care," said her nephew.
Callahan is survived by her nephews, Brian and Jack Callahan.
Graveside services were conducted at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial