Irene Callaghan

Obituary of Irene M Callaghan

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Irene Michelle Callaghan, neé Murray, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by her family, on January 10, 2024, after a long illness.  


She was born in Weehawken, NJ, on December 15, 1929, the first child of Eugene and Mary Murray (neé Kelly).  A talented artist, after graduating from Weehawken High School in 1947, she studied advertising design at the Pratt Institute in New York.  She went on to teach art for a year in at the Marymount International School in Rome, then extended her stay in Europe with a scholarship to study etching in Maastricht, The Netherlands.  She went on to have a 50-year career as a commercial artist, calligrapher, book illustrator, and teacher.


On New Year's Day, 1963, she married John Callaghan, known to his friends as Jack.  Over the sixty-one years of their marriage, they lived on Long Island, in New Jersey, in Co. Wexford in Ireland, and Manhattan.  They had three children, John, Mary, and Nicholas, who is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, and now have eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


Irene was a passionate artist, a caring wife and mother, and a devout Catholic.  In the 1980's she was drawn to the Right-to-Life movement, in part because she saw an advertisement in her parish bulletin for a talk on the subject by Fr. Gerald Murray, a newly ordained priest and the son of her first cousin, Gerald Murray Sr.  She missed that talk, but attended others and soon began volunteering with crisis pregnancy centers and with The Helpers of God's Precious Infants and spent one month in prison in West Hartford, Connecticut, for participating in a non-violent witness with Operation Rescue.


Irene was deeply grateful for her many friendships from her professional life, her years in Ireland, the Pro-Life movement, the Latin Mass community in New York, and her neighborhood of Murray Hill, where she and her husband have lived for many years.  On her behalf, her family ask for your prayers.  


Irene was predeceased by her brother, Fr. Eugene Murray, S.J.  She is survived by her husband John and her sister, Mary Ellen. She is also survived by her three children, her daughter-in-law Anna, her grandchildren Julia, John Andrew, Catherine, Abigail, Mary Alice, Patrick, Cormac and Áine, and her great-grandchildren Peter James and Alice.



4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wednesday, January 17, 2024
The Gannon Funeral Home Inc.
152 East 28th Street, 10016
New York, New York, United States

Requiem Mass

10:00 am - 11:30 am
Thursday, January 18, 2024
Holy Family Roman Catholic Church
315 E 47th Street
New York, New York, United States


12:45 pm - 1:00 pm
Thursday, January 18, 2024
Ascension Cemetery
650 Saddle River Rd
Airmont, New York, United States
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Irene Callaghan

In Loving Memory

Irene Callaghan

1929 - 2024

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