Mary Katherine Callan

Mary Katherine Callan, of Mattapoisett and Middleborough, died peacefully on June 18, 2022. She was 88.

            Mary was the wife of the late Paul R. Callan, and the mother of 4 children who survive her: Paul F. Callan (Rika Tamaya) of San Diego, CA; Susan E. Callan (Steve Morris) of Falmouth; Claire A. Callan (Eddie Monteiro) of Falmouth; and Mary A. Callan of Boston. She is also survived by her 8 grandchildren: Jessica, Alyssa, Brianne, Ashley, Michael, Olivia, Conor, and Maeve; 10 great-grandchildren; her best friend and sister Ann Sparrow (Terry Sparrow); and several nieces and nephews.

            She was the sister of the late William “Billy” Rudolph.

            Mary was born and raised in Middleborough as the oldest child of Norman and Madeline (Keenan) Rudolph. She graduated as the valedictorian of the 1952 class of Middleborough High School and attended Bates College, graduating in 1956 with a Bachelor’s in Nursing degree. She married Paul in 1957.

            Mary worked as an RN until she and Paul started their family. She then shifted gears from caring for patients to attending to 4 children, every cat or dog that her kids brought home, and all of her “surrogate children” in the extended neighborhood which was, unquestionably, the Very Best place to grow up and where every kid knew that Mary’s or some mother’s eyes were watching, and to be home when the streetlights came on. After her children were grown, Paul and Mary moved to Mattapoisett where she found a wonderful community of dear friends.

            Mary cherished her family. While her children were young, she spent her days driving them to practices and lessons, picking up their friends, and setting off on camping trips with her friend Marji, 8 kids and dogs in tow. Every night before bed, for as long as her children lived at home, Mary spent quiet time individually with each child giving them an opportunity to talk about the challenges or triumphs of the busy day.

            Mary was an accomplished cook and baker. Every kid knew that the Callan’s kitchen had a big cookie jar that had never held a store-bought cookie. At Christmastime she sent Susan and Mary Ann off to deliver baked treats to friends all over town. From a young age Mary explored the world through books. She was a life-long learner, delving deeply into philosophy and religion. In her later years she loved the poems of Mary Oliver and the writings of Richard Rohr. She started each day in quiet reflection, and typically ended the day knitting while watching PBS and then a nature or wildlife documentary, her beloved “Miss Kitty” on her lap.

            Those who were blessed to know Mary well will remember her deep faith and spirituality, her abiding hope, her warm love, and her easy and full laugh.

            In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or to Nativity Preparatory School 66 Spring Street, New Bedford, MA 02740.

            Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, June 29th at 10 am in St. Anthony’s Church, 22 Barstow St., Mattapoisett. Following, there will be a celebration at the Inn on Shipyard Park, 13 Water Street, Mattapoisett. Arrangements are with the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd. (Rt. 6), Mattapoisett. For online guestbook, visit

Leave A Comment...