Mark John Callahan, M.D.
Mark John Callahan, M.D.
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ROCHESTER, MINN:Mark Callahan, Mayo Clinic Cardiologist, died on Wednesday, December 28, nine days after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.He grew up in Rochester and attended Harvard University and the University of Minnesota medical school.Mark completed an Internal Medicine residency and Cardiology training at the Mayo Clinic from 1978 to 1984.He specialized in Echocardiography.

Mark was a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and enjoyed teaching in the Mayo Medical School for 12 years and in other settings, particularly Heart House. He was especially devoted to maintaining a patient-centered clinical practice.

His hobbies included astronomy and travel.Mark was an Eagle Scout and had served as Scout Master for Troop 82.He was also very involved in organizing and participating in several medical missions to Haiti, Mexico and Guatemala.

He is survived by his wife, Jane, his children, Sarah and Matthew, his mother Dorothy, his six siblings, Christopher (Mado), Peter, Paul (Julie Ross), Joan (Steve) Farrell, Peg (Mark Beckel) and Betsy and many other nieces and nephews and relatives.

The memorial service for Mark will be held at Zumbro Lutheran Church at 10 A.M. on Friday, January 6, 2012.There will be visitation at 9 A.M. and coffee following the service.Memorials, if desired, may be given to the Poverello Foundation of St. Marys Hospital or the newly-formed Mark J. Callahan Mayo Medical School Scholarship, both at 200 1st St. SW Rochester, 55905.



Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes
5421 Royal Place NW
Rochester, MN 55901
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

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J Joe Goldberger on Sep 6, 2017

M Mark Ramler on Sep 6, 2017

E Elisabeth Farrell on Sep 6, 2017

L Loretta Mogan on Sep 6, 2017

T Tony Jameson and Karin Vogel on Sep 6, 2017

A Anita Wokhlu on Sep 6, 2012

Dear Callahan family,

I recently became aware the Dr. Callahan's passing away when a colleague whom I trained with requested sponsorship for a run in his honor.

I was a trainee in cardiology at Mayo Clinic and worked with Dr. Callahan.  He just made you feel good to work with him.  I enjoyed learning from him.  Despite a lot of work responsibilities,  he just had this air of calm, warmth, and ease.  A day working with Dr. Callahan,you knew, would be a good day.

Please accept my condolences.  It is a great joy for me to have known him and learned from him.

Sincerely yours, Anita Wokhlu

M Mark Crandall on Jun 23, 2012

Dear Callahan family,

   I was so saddened to hear of Dr. Callahan's passing.  I was a resident on his cardiology service several years ago and now am just finishing cardiology fellowship.  He was outstanding clinically and taught me a great deal about cardiology.  Even more so, he was a great example of a caring individual with a great rapport with patients, residents, and students.  I won't forget his great example to me as I go into practice.

P Phyllis Humphries Heimbigner on Apr 2, 2012

Dear Jane and family;

It was with great grief that I received the news of your dear husband/father/brother/son''s death.  We had just reconnected by email after years of no contact.  Mark and I met in Guanajuato Mexico in 1969 and became good friends.  We lost contact after Mark was at Harvard and I in community college in Portland, Oregon.  I live in Vancouver, Washington now.  We had recently reconnected via email when a friend of mine moved to Rochester and went to work at the Mayo.  In our last correspondance he was telling me how excited he was to be going to Minneapolis with you to hear Sarah sing in a Russian choir.  

The world has lost a wonderful and gifted man, and I I am sure your grief is overwhelming.  My thoughts and prayers of sympathy go out to you and your extended family as you continue to mourn this great loss.  Mark was a dear friend.  Please know how sorrowful I am for you and your extended family.  Surely the angels are singing in heaven with his presence.  May the Lord bless and keep you and your family in His comforting arms.

Fondly,  Phyllis Humphries Heimbigner   (360)326-3277

K Khawaja Afzal Ammar on Mar 5, 2012

Dear Callahan Family

I cannot tell you how much I admired Dr Callahan. He was my mentor, my teacher, my benefactor and literally launched my teaching career in medicine by sharing his work with me.

Always happy, positive, congenial and warm, every day spent with in taknig care of patients was a great joy. During lectures, once his slides stopped working and kneeled down on the computer lying on the floor as if he is trying to fix it. After a moment he said in the mike, id you guys think that I am try ing to fix this presentation, then you are mistaken. I dont have a clue how to fix this computer. I am just kneeling on my knees, praying to the lord to help me.

This was Mark's hallmark. No matter how difficult the situation, he took it light heartedly and solved it without making other people miserable. Very few doctors have this gift, as they truly are not born teachers. Mark was by birth, a teacher, a benefactor, who happened to choose a profession which perfectly matched his basic personality traits

I am sure my friend is in the heaven, having a good time. I hope to see you there my friend, one day.

S Suzanne Anderson on Feb 22, 2012

Dear family of Dr. Callahan,

We were shocked to learn of Dr. Callahan's passing.  Though we only knew him for a short time, he was such an outstanding human being, such a caring physician and always gave hope.  

May our Lord wrap his loving arms around you.  You will be in our prayers.

                                              Suzanne and Whittaker Anderson

P Paul J Reitemeier. PhD on Feb 20, 2012

I just learned of Mark's passing from the MC web site. My sisncere condolences to all his family. I knew Mark as a boy and he was impressive then. We attended together elementary school and Boy Scouts in troop 27 at St. John's and later the MC Explorer post. I was proud to be there with him when he received his Eagle award, on the Boundary Waters canoe trips in '67 and '68, and I ony regret not having had contact for the past 40 years. My deepest sympathies to his family and all who knew and loved him. He was a gift.

S Sarah Parsons & Jey-Hsin Chen on Feb 10, 2012

Dear Jane & The Callahan Family,

Here in Seattle, we are so forlorn at belatedly hearing this news, but profoundly grateful to have shared time with Mark through music, med school and the cardiology service over 15 years ago. Mark was an absolute mensch. The sight of his name still conjures up his ever-smiling face, affable manner, compassionate mind, generosity and joie de vivre. His support of the arts, medical students and their spouses elevated the Mayo experience for so many of us, and patients loved him. Mayo has lost a rare physician and the world has   lost a light. We know that Mark could not have made such a positive impact without the love and support of you, Jane, and your family. Thank you for sharing him with us.

Sarah & Jey

J Jo Ann Ramsaur on Jan 24, 2012

Dear Callahan Family,

What a heartbreaking shock when reading unopened mail here in Oregon today that Dr. Mark Callahan had passed away in December! I am sitting at my computer with tears flowing down my cheeks, as Dr. Callahan was my Mayo primary physician for over 20 years and I very much looked forward to seeing him each annual visit. He was an excellent doctor, helping me navigate several medical issues over the years. He always asked about my family and shared stories about his. He was always available when I needed to call him with a problem. His wit was wonderful, and we always ended our visits laughing and laughing about things that came up in our conversation. I will miss him greatly, and now feel a bit lost as to who will take such good care of me at Mayo. Please accept my deepest heartfelt sympathy.

Jo Ann Ramsaur

R Robert Tauxe on Jan 22, 2012

Dear Callahan family.   What shocking news, falling out of the Christmas card envelope.  Mark and I go way back - we were boyhood friends, always up to stunts together, in high school, like forming a war protest group called "Mir", or making a funny film.. and we stayed in touch through college and after.  It was a pleasure to renew our friendship a decade ago, and to meet you all.  Mark was always one of the most centered people I know, caring and deeply moral, balancing the humor with the serious, and a natural role model for everyone around him.  We will miss him, and we hold you in our hearts.  May peace be with you.

R Ralph and Sheryl Tank on Jan 16, 2012

Our sincere sympathy on the loss of your family member.  Dr. Callahan has been my husband''s physician for many years.  We always looked forward to seeing Dr. Callahan when at Mayo for my husband''s cardiac visits.  We considered him a great physician and friend.  He was always sincerely  friendly.  My husband and he would always exchange jokes.  He always asked about our family.  We could talk to him about anything....we will truly miss him.  Dr Callahan was 8 days older than my husband and this was something they would joke about....he has had a great positive influence on both of us.

R Ralph and Sheryl Tank on Jan 16, 2012

Our sincere sympathy on the loss of your family member.  Dr. Callahan has been my husband''''''''''''''''s physician for many years.  We always looked forward to seeing Dr. Callahan when at Mayo for my husband''''''''''''''''s cardiac visits.  We considered him a great physician and friend.  He was always sincerely  friendly.  My husband and he would always exchange jokes.  He always asked about our family.  We could talk to him about anything....we will truly miss him.  Dr Callahan was 8 days older than my husband and this was something they would joke about....he has had a great positive influence on both of us.

J Joe Goldberger on Jan 14, 2012

Dear Callahan Family,

I had the good fortune of meeting Dr. Callahan over 10 years ago, when he became my dad, Bob Goldberger's, primary care physician. I don't know if he truly realized at the time that that commitment, would morph into over twenty other family members and good friends, becoming ongoing patients of this very special doctor, Dr. Mark J. Callahan. Its impossible to quantify the lives he improved, and the lives he saved, both within my circle and certainly well beyond. What I do know, is thanks to his spectacular clinical insight and amazing bed side manner, my dad is passing 74 on his way to 75. Of course there are many other examples of extending his patients lives, and his exceptional patient care (I always wondered if he ever slept!). I will miss he very much, both as a my trusted physician, and as a cherished friend of my family. May you all be blessed with the memories of the many people he touched while on this earth, and may G-d bless him in heaven.

My heartfelt Sympathy, Joe Goldberger

L LaLoni Conover on Jan 14, 2012

I am a Patient of Doctor Mark he was the best I started seeing him in 2000 II was shown much compassion Dr Mark went the extra mile for me And took time to explain my situation with my small child before my surgery I am going to miss My friend I am sorry for your loss I wish to tell you I am praying for you and your Family and that Mark held a special place in my heart and He made a difference to many God Bless you.

J Jim Streiff on Jan 11, 2012

To Marks Family,

I am without words as to express how sorry I am to hear of Marks passing.   As a young man Mark and I were good friends and we would spend many hours together.  I never forgot the good times we had at the Callahan house on 16th Street and his friendship.    

A few months ago I was in need of a physician and I immediately thought of Mark.  I very was fortunate that he fit me into his schedule.   We visited more about where our lives had taken us and how proud we were of our families than my medical situation.  I am glad we had the opportunity to renew and reflect together.

But that is what made Mark the great person and physician.  Mark touched many people over the course of his lifetime and the memory of him will live on.  We were blessed to know him.


Jim Streiff

C Cesar Arturo Mendez Rodriguez on Jan 9, 2012







Lloramos por un amigo

Que se ha ido al paraso

Para nunca regresar

Lo vamos a extraar

Adios amigo

Querido amigo

Nos deja un gran vaco

Que en el corazn lo sentimos

Con tan slo recordar

Los das no volvern

A ser los mismos

Querido amigo

Ha sido difcil aguantar

Este golpe al corazn

Cmo soportar la realidad

Sobre todo este dolor

Este llanto es por un amigo que se fue

Que se nos ha adelantado en el camino

Y que Dios ha decidido tenerlo con l

All cantar como lo hizo ayer

Este llanto es por un amigo que se fue

Porque as es la vida as es el destino

Cada triunfo cada aplauso son suyos tambin

Y estas lgrimas son pensando en l

El amigo que se fue

Ha sido difcil aguantar

Este golpe al corazn

Cmo soportar la realidad

Sobre todo este dolor

Este llanto es por un amigo que se fue

Que se nos ha adelantado en el camino

Y que Dios ha decidido tenerlo con l

All cantar como lo hizo ayer

Este llanto es por un amigo que se fue

Porque as es la vida as es el destino

Cada triunfo cada aplauso son suyos tambin

Y estas lgrimas son pensando en l

El amigo que se fue

English translation:  

We mourn for a friend

That he's gone to paradise

To never return

We are going to wonder

Adios amigo

Dear friend

He leaves a great void

That at heart I sorry

Just recall

The days will no longer

Be the same

Dear friend

It has been difficult to endure

This blow to the heart

How to endure the reality

Above all this pain

This cry is by a friend that it was

Us has overtaken on the way

And that Dios has decided to have it with him

Beyond sing as did yesterday

This cry is by a friend that it was

Because that is the life that is the destination

Every triumph each applause are yours also

And these tears are thinking of him

The friend who was

It has been difficult to endure

This blow to the heart

How to endure the reality

Above all this pain

This cry is by a friend that it was

Us has overtaken on the way

And that Dios has decided to have it with him

Beyond sing as did yesterday

This cry is by a friend that it was

Because that is the life that is the destination

Every triumph each applause are yours also

And these tears are thinking of him

The friend who was

N NRajamannan on Jan 9, 2012

Dear Mrs Callahan and Family

Dr. Callahan taught me during my training from Medical School, Internal Medicine and Cardiology.

He was a wonderful teacher, fabulous physician and amazing Human Being.

My prayers are with you and your entire family during this difficult time.

In Jesus Holy Name

May Eternal Rest Grant Upon Him Oh Lord and Let Perpetual Light Shine upon Him, May his soul and the shouls of the faithful departed rest in peace, Amen.

Nalini Rajamannan

C Craig Prudhomme on Jan 9, 2012

To the Callahan Family, Far and Wide; I had the pleasure of meeting Mark once through sister Peggy and the Wildlife Science Center.  What a bundle of energy Mark was, and what an amazing family.  I have many friends in and from Ireland... and you all have symbolized the best of the Irish with a wonderful and strong openness, sense of humor, a gift of the gab, and zest for life.  I was not surprised at all to hear that Mark's diagnoses interrupted a medical mission.  Wow!  Having lost many in my family and circle of friends, I know there will be no replacing Mark, but you will find strength in the circles of people he has touched, who will come back to support you in your time of need.  Please truly do not be afraid to ask for help.  - Friend and Fellow Traveller, Craig Prudhomme

J Judith Berg on Jan 8, 2012

Jane, Sarah & Matt,

    My condolences to you at this time of great loss.  I don't recall meeting your husband/father during the years at Bamber Valley, but I know from many of my Mayo friends that he was special.  You are in my prayers at this time. I hope that the love and support of your many friends will help you through this sad time.

G Glenda Kidd on Jan 8, 2012

My sympathies to you, Jane and Callahan family,

     I am so sorry for your loss.   A year ago next week, my husband died of cancer.  When I heard that Mark had incurable cancer I wanted to send to both of you all of my words of wisdom and encouragement and advice on what you would be facing.  I had become an unwilling "expert" on cancer, oncology, chemotherapy, radiation and finally hospice and death.   The difference is that I had over two years with my husband since that day of diagnosis and you had only nine days.   Everyone's journey is different and we are not always capable of understanding God's plans.

     I had worked with Mark for several years in the ECHO lab and he was always a joy to work with.  My last conversation with him was in regards to your Christmas card picture taken in the hot air balloon.  He said, "We had fun taking it".  He spread that fun and joy with all.  

     We will miss him.  You will miss him.   May God bless you with peace and comfort.

P Pablo and Martha Garcia on Jan 7, 2012

Dear Jane, Sarah and Matt,

Blessings to you all as you grieve the loss of such a dear man.  We have had the privilege of working alongside and translating for Dr. Mark for many years here in Mexico. We have been so blessed by his wonderful disposition and generous heart and compassion for the people of Mexico.  

We send our sincere condolences and love.

Hugs and love to you all.

Pablo and Martha

M Mary Beth Volberding & Mike (MJ) Sackett on Jan 7, 2012

Jane, Sarah, Matt, Betsy and rest of Mark''s extended family.

It was my great privilege to have been a part of the Ensenada medical missions since 2005, and see what a wonderful person Dr Mark was. He was cheerful and willing to do anything and everything that required being done, from unloading the vans or bus, setting up the site, going to the store to buy beans as well as providing excellent medical care from the smallest child to the oldest patient, whether they required cardiology care or not. He let pregnant women see the first "picture" of their babies, even though that certainly wasn''t his specialty. He was also great at training the Mexican and American medical students. We will all miss him. It doesn''t seem possible that he is gone (and I''m sure come July, we will fell his presenceand we continue something that I know meant so much to him).

Mary Beth & Mike (MJ)

D Douglas (Rusty) and Tina Brown on Jan 6, 2012

We had the privilege of knowing Mark from a YAM trip via Christ Methodist Church to Guatemala in January 2008.  Aside from his medical knowledge and caring, he was such a joy to be with. We had a young woman with a dog bite and I still remember Mark and John McDougall doing all they could to find rabies vaccine and finding none, get her back to the United States for treatment. There were two special moments about Mark that I will never forget on that trip:  Mark acting silly on the bus trip with a bandana on his head, and one beautiful dark night with many stars in the sky in the highlands of Guatemala when Mark used his laser pointer to give us a phenomenal tour of the stars and constellations.  

I can''''''''t believe he is gone and as I look back at the photos from that trip, realize that another member of that trip, Cheryl Wick, is also gone now.  It was such a blessing to meet Mark.  I suspect you have photos from that trip, but if not, please let us know and we''''''''ll be glad to send you the photos that we have of Mark from that 2008 trip.

Douglas (Rusty) and Tina Brown

P Paulette Schurhammer on Jan 6, 2012

Dear Jane --and all of Marks Family

I heard of Marks passing with disbelief and shock.  He was such a kind man, loved by his family, colleagues, patients and everyone whose life he touched.  I always so enjoyed Marks wit and smile, his unselfish compassion for his patients and his positive attitude in all that he did.  Gods plan is not clear but he must have really needed Mark to leave all who knew him with so much sadness and devastation.  Jane, Matthew and Sarah-thank you for sharing him with us.  My heart aches for you and your loss.  I can't believe he is gone.

J Jesse Rodriguez on Jan 6, 2012

It has been difficult for me to express my thoughts regarding Mark''s passing from a perspective of first trying to understand the loss of someone, that like all of you, I so highly respect, adimire and love.  When I received Dr. Casey''s message this morning I began to realize that Mark''s passing may be difficult for me to understand and accept becuase he represents the BEST of so many that give so much of themselves in helping others and doing so with the greatests gifts thatt any of us can give - love & respect - as I once heard Cindsay, HOPE.  I see Mark''s death as one that representsthe vulnerability and poetential loss of everyone whom I have had the pleasure to meet as part of the medical mission. The pain of Mark''s passing is one created by the bondg of many for the sake of a singular and humble cause to help those less fortunate.

While I feel the loss of Mark as an individula, I also realize that he repsents all medical mission members and other volunteers who give the best of themselves regardlessof personal sacrifice to help others.  As I reviewed the pictures that I had taken and was preparing to send to Danielle to help complet her presentation, I saw in Mark a reflection of all of you whom I am confident Mark would feel honored and humbled to exemplify.

I cannot imagine the pain and sense of loss that Mark''s wife, children, extended family and close frineds must feel.  This morning I also thought of the great loss that individuals such as Dr. Casey, and others must feel becuase they have known and worked with him for so many years.  When I first heard of Mark''s passing, I immediately lit a candle for him and his family.  The reality is that the candle was for all of us!  I feel honored to have know him, and the best way that I can give honor to him is to try my best to carryout out his message of giving with heart and perceiving those we help as our equals.

P Patricia Sabanas on Jan 6, 2012

I was very sad to hear the news about Mark.  We had a great time together on the mission trip.  I found a poem which I liek and which I would like to dedicate to Mark since I will not be able to be at his funderal.

Best regards, Patricia

  I'll be there

There was no time to say goodbye

But this i ask - please do not cry

Remember me as you think best

The happy time - forget the rest.

Look for me and i'll be there

And you will find me everywhere

In the gentle touch of breeze

That cools the skin or swirls the leaves.

In the scent and colour of flowers

That gave to me such happy hours

On sunny days under sunny skies of blue

Just think of me, i'll be with you.

In winter when there's cloud or mist

The rain will give to you my kiss

As wood smoke lingers in the air

Look for me and i'll be there.

Where seagulls cry above the sea

And surf rolls in so endlessly

Among towering trees that soar above

In all these things that i once loved

Look for me and i'll be there

You'll feel my presence everywhere.

R Rita Lawson on Jan 6, 2012

Dear Jane and family,

I was so sorry to hear of the passing of your husband and father.  It is far too early to loose such a dear member of your family.  My prayers and thoughts are with you.

Rita Lawson

(I played tennis with Jane on Thursday evenings)

P Penny Dunn on Jan 6, 2012

Family of Dr. Mark Callahan,

I am so sorry for your loss.  I have worked as a nurse in cardiology for the past 13 years so have had the pleasure of working with Mark.  It is hard to put into words the difference he has made in so many lives.  He was an amazing person and will be missed by many but not forgotten.  My thoughts are with you as you celebrate his life.

L Laurie Ivins Leaf on Jan 6, 2012

Dear Jane and Family,

My deepest sympathies for your loss -- truly a void now exists in the universe.  Of all the memories of growing up with Mark, it is one of us as parents that comes to mind.  We found ourselves standing next to each other, watching our children on some treacherous ride at the county fair.  We sheepishly admitted to one another that -- much to our children's dismay -- we felt best with our feet solidly planted on terra firma.  Now we mourn Mark's passing, but celebrate his new life in Heaven.  Based on how Mark chose to live his life on earth, I'm quite sure he is now "solidly planted" on an extra, extra soft cloud.

May God's blessings and peace be with you always.

E Elizabeth Coss, MD on Jan 6, 2012

My deepest sympathy for your loss.  I was blessed to have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Callahan during my residency training.  He has left a lasting impression in my life both personally and professionally.  He will be missed greatly.

R Ruben and Graciela on Jan 6, 2012

Ruben|Graciela: We are very sad for the news of our friend Mark. We cannot believe either that it was so fast, but God knows why all things happen He is perfect in all things even when we don;t understand and accept things he remains faithful.

It is true that Mark was very special to Ruben. He loved him and knows that many people love him much also. Mark's life reflected the love of God and it was a great privilege to know him it is true.

We are praying for your family, for the whole medical team that the Lord will give love and words of encouragement to Mark's family.

C Cathy Hollenbach on Jan 6, 2012

Dear Callahan family,

My deepest sympathy to you and your family and all of your friends and co-workers.  You are loved by so many people as you can see by all these messages.  You have left this world a better place by being here for unfortunately too short of time.  I had the pleasure to work with you on 2 trips to Ensenada and you were a joy to work with.  You will be missed by so many people.

L Lowell and Clara Mae Patterson family on Jan 5, 2012

Dr. Mark Callahan started care for our mother in the 1980s and later followed our father as his primary cardiologist. Dr. Callahan was always compassionate, articulate, and showed his real care for the patient as a person. I've referred to Dr. Callahan as an example of a specialist who looked past just the specialty to the whole person. He will be missed professionally but mostly he will be missed for the man he was. Blessings to his family in this most sad of times. You have had a great man in your family.

W William K. Freeman on Jan 5, 2012

You have got to see this!  These were the first words Mark Callahan said to me nearly five decades ago. I was in grade school then, having a sleep-over with Marks younger brother Peter, out in the back yard of their home. It was well past midnight, as Mark excitedly handed over his binoculars to show me Mars, adjacent to the brilliant blue giant star Spica, in the constellation Virgo. It was a beautiful sight. Mark was able to instantly instill a fascination in the celestial wonders above. He had a lifelong love for astronomy, and he first opened my eyes for the same. He clearly appreciated the universe and the realm far beyond all of us.

Whatever you do, dont put these paddles to your head and shock was Marks instruction during the megacode station as he was teaching me ACLS during medical school. He, of course, showed us the right way to do it, step by step, ever so patiently. Humorous, nonintimidating, compassionate, and highly effective teaching ability was always a hallmark specialty of Marks. He has very positively influenced the learning careers of a vast number of physicians, cardiac sonographers, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.

I cant thank you enough for this, was Marks response when he substituted for me on a mission trip to Haiti, when I couldnt go at the last minute. Mark carried his devoted mission work lovingly to many people in several nations. He always regarded his selfless giving and beneficence as a privilege, and he deeply cherished these experiences. Mark was always grateful for the opportunity to serve others far less fortunate than him, and he did so magnificently as a true humanitarian.

I need to talk to you in my office Mark said to me one day many years ago. He was a bit distressed, which was highly unusual for him. He then gave me his directorship of the third year Mayo Medical School cardiovascular pathophysiology course. There he built the reputation of being a legendary teacher, devoted completely to the medical students and their education. Without question, the students loved Mark. He felt it would be in the medical students best interest, however, to have a change, and this was more important to him than keeping his position that he so passionately enjoyed and loved. Even though I have never understood it, I have come to realize it was just another of Marks myriad acts of selfless devotion to a higher cause, placing his own interests as a distant secondary concern.

Bad days are not permitted, Mark said to me one particularly busy day in the hospital as I was whining how bad the day was going because we were so busy. Being a perpetual source of positive energy and cheerful optimism, he quickly dispelled my negativism and made me glad I was around him. Mark had this rare and magical talent with almost everyone he encountered. His infectious positivity, blended with wit and often self-effacing remarks, brightened everyones day and outlook. Mark was the true embodiment of the phrase, life is an attitude, and indeed he lived and shared it to the fullest positive extent with others.

In a medical institution and Division renowned for towering clinical and academic achievement, it would not be difficult to desire pursuit of ones own personal agenda and recognition.  Mark instead devoted himself to unending service in the outstanding care of the patients in his huge clinical practice, mentoring and teaching students at all levels, while still being exceptionally kind and helpful to everyone he encountered.  As per Marks style, all this was unadvertised and graciously given without expecting any form of compensation in return.

Most unfortunately, it sometimes takes a death to truly recognize the magnitude of greatness of an individual who previously humbly walked and worked in our midst everyday.

Marks untimely death has shattered everyone into this realization.

I have learned a great deal from Mark Callahan throughout our lives together, not only how to be a better physician, but more importantly, how to be a better human being. Marks life was a brilliant and shining example to us all, just like the star he showed me for the first time nearly fifty years ago. I never again will be able to look at that star without tears in my eyes, thinking of my beloved friend, Mark.

My most sincere sympathy is extended to Marks wife, Jane, their children, and their entire family.

William K. Freeman

K Kimara March on Jan 5, 2012

I can not think of a more wonderful human being with a greater love of life and the people in it then Dr. Callahan.  I could talk to Dr. Callahan about anything and he would have some unique story or experience to add.  He truly loved his family.  One day we just sat and talked for half an hour about his sister Peggy and what tremendous things she had done for wolves.  He had a very humble nature and incredible sense of humor.  I told him just a month ago when he was on hospital service how one of his residents had told me how much she enjoyed working with him and that I agreed--she was lucky to have had him!  His response:I paid her, but I guess I forgot to pay you!  

His smiling face and truly gifted clinical skills were a blessing to all and will never be forgotten.   God called back a very special angel here on earth and I am certain he is doing ever more important things and continuing to brighten the lives of all those whom he comes in contact.

Kimara March

M Marie Bode on Jan 5, 2012

Jane, Matt, and Sarah

I know there truly are no words to comfort you with the emptiness that has been left in her heart and your life with the loss of your husband and dad. I want to share what Mark J. Callahan meant to me. I met him back in 2001 when I joined the Internal Medical Outreach family which is part of the Cardiology Department. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet a great doctor who eventually became someone that I came to love as a friend. Often I got to listen to patients, the family members of patients, and other staff about what a great doctor and a wonderful person that Mark Callahan was. I loved listening to their stories and I could feel my heart swell with pride because he was my guy meaning my doctor in the Outreach Office. We often shared stories about our lives outside of Mayo with our family, our children, and life in general. I learnt so much from him that has nothing to do with cardiology. He shared is love for music, astrology, and his travels with me and much more. I could see the pride in his eyes when he talked about his kids. I had the opportunity to meet Jane and it was easy to see how well Mark and Jane complimented one another, however I feel like I know Matt and Sarah as well just with his stories. Your dad loved you and was very proud of you both. My kids loved Dr. Callahan as well. They especially loved the freeze-dried ice cream that he would bring back for them whenever he had a trip to Washington DC and would visit the Smithsonian. They will never forget the things that he did for them. It is hard coming to work knowing that I will never again open my email to see Callahan, Mark or paging him and hearing his voice Mark Callahan when he answered. He was always so friendly, so caring and he never yelled or got angry for interrupting him or making a mistake. Whenever I would be worried about something or needed advice, Mark Callahan was always there to listen, give advice, or be willing to see a friend or family member if it was a medical concern. He truly was a giving person. He told me once how he always just wanted people to like him. I do not foresee that would ever be the issue. I love my friend and admire the doctor. I will miss you and will never forget you. I hope that you are up there looking down on us and realize just how much you are loved, admired, and missed. God Bless you Jane, Matt, and Sarah.


Marie Bode

J John C. Cokinos SR on Jan 5, 2012

Dear family of Dr Callahan

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    May God keep him in his kingdom.

    We were shocked to hear of Dr Callahan''s passing.

    May his memory be enternal.

    With respect

    John and Nina Cokinos

J James & Linda Bergan on Jan 5, 2012

Dr Mark Callahan's Family,

We have been going to Dr. Callahan for 12 years and found him to be

the most thoughtful and caring Dr. we have known. We feel very blessed

that we had the chance to have him for our dr. for 12 years.   Our

hearts go out to the family, may God Bless you all.

James & Linda Bergan

N Nick and Angela Bergan on Jan 5, 2012

Dr. Callahan was a terrific man with a great care and concern for his patients.

He will be truly missed. I send my deepest condolences to his wife and family for their lost. Dr. Callahan will be truly missed his patience and care was evident and true in his work. He was a very kind person who was passionate about medicine and very humane. He will truly be missed and expertise and attention to detail was impressive. My husband attributes Dr. Callahan for his father's life and we can never repay him for his understanding and kindness. I will keep his family and friend in my prayers.

D Douglas (Rusty) and Tina Brown on Jan 5, 2012

We had the privilege of knowing Mark from a YAM trip via Christ Methodist Church to Guatemala in January 2008.  Aside from his medical knowledge and caring, he was such a joy to be with. We had a young woman with a dog bite and I still remember Mark and John McDougall doing all they could to find rabies vaccine and finding none, get her back to the United States for treatment. There were two special moments about Mark that I will never forget on that trip:  Mark acting silly on the bus trip with a bandana on his head, and one beautiful dark night with many stars in the sky in the highlands of Guatemala when Mark used his laser pointer to give us a phenomenal tour of the stars and constellations.  

I can''''t believe he is gone and as I look back at the photos from that trip, realize that another member of that trip, Cheryl Wick, is also gone now.  It was such a blessing to meet Mark.  I suspect you have photos from that trip, but if not, please let us know and we''''ll be glad to send you the photos that we have of Mark from that 2008 trip.

Douglas (Rusty) and Tina Brown

N Nancy Archer on Jan 5, 2012

Dear Callahan family,

Please know that Dr. Callahan was a special gift of God that was taken from us too early.  He truly amazed so many of us when I worked at the hospital with calming the patients and family.  One of the memories that sticks out was when a patient was going to have heart surgery the next day and was very anxious.  He calmly sat next to her bed and told her, "Let me do the worrying for you."   You could see the patient's body start to relax at that time.  All the staff were given the highest respect when we had concerns about the patients as nothing was taken lightly.  

I haven't worked with Dr. Callahan for a while, but we would cross paths once in a while.  Seemed like everytime I would run into him, he would have a funny story to brighten my day.  

Remember to live life to it's fullest to honor Dr. Callahan's legacy.

O Owatonna Clinic Transcription Department on Jan 4, 2012

It is with great sadness that our department has learned of the passing of Dr. Callahan.  Though we didn't get to interact with him in person, we enjoyed getting to listen to him on his visits to Owatonna and he was wonderful to talk to by e-mail or phone.  We will miss getting to be a part of the care of his patients.  

"A memory can reach all the way to heaven.  Let your heart touch the sky as you remember with love."

N Nikki Haak Nelson on Jan 4, 2012

To the Callahan family,

I cannot express to you the sadness in my heart when I heard the news of Dr. Callahan's death.  He has been my mother's primary heart doctor since 1995 when she had quadruple bypass.  My mother's coronary situation has deteriorated over the years and is quite complex.  I accompanied my mom to many of her appointments and the amazing level of personal care and compassion shown by Dr. Callahan was amazing.  I have no doubt that his care for my mom's overall health (physical and mental) is one of the primary reasons she is still alive today.  He always had the time for her and I know what it meant to her to know he was on her side and always there for her.  He was a very gentle soul and this was so present in his calming voice, large smile and his peaceful touch.  The medical and broader community has lost a great man.  I pray for peace for all of you during this very difficult time.

Nikki Nelson

N Nikki Haak Nelson on Jan 4, 2012

To the Callahan family,

I cannot express to you the sadness in my heart when I heard the news of Dr. Callahan''s death.  He has been my mother''s primary heart doctor since 1995 when she had quadruple bypass.  My mother''s coronary situation has deteriorated over the years and is quite complex.  I accompanied my mom to many of her appointments and the amazing level of personal care and compassion shown by Dr. Callahan was amazing.  I have no doubt that his care for my mom''s overall health (physical and mental) is one of the primary reasons she is still alive today.  He always had the time for her and I know what it meant to her to know he was on her side and always there for her.  He was a very gentle soul and this was so present in his calming voice, large smile and his peaceful touch.  The medical and broader community has lost a great man.  I pray for peace for all of you during this very difficult time.

Nikki Nelson

L Lloyd and Margie Lowrie on Jan 4, 2012

The ripple effects of Marks death on your family and friends has been enourmous. Never lose site of how very much he was loved and respeced. He was an attribute to his profession. It is an honor to compile a beautiful tribute to one of our own. Mark was a compassionate and competent practitioner of medicine. He was a remarkable person who had a positive influence on everyone he met. Mark was exceptionally socially adept, and knew how to make people feel included and special. I felt very priviledged to be a nurse under Mark's team in the ICU for many years. God bless your family.

L Larisa Hill, Mayo Medical Student on Jan 4, 2012

I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Callahan as a part of our Cardiology course as second-year medical students, and served as my small group leader during one the weeks. I greatly enjoyed Dr. Callahan. He was clearly passionate about his work and teaching students. Dr. Callahan was a gifted teacher and encouraging mentor to students. I also know from time I spent shadowing in the echo lab that he had great rapport with all of the staff and learners. Future medical students will certainly be missing a chance to know and work with a great teacher and clinician. I am thankful that I was able to know Dr. Callahan. My symphaties to all of you. May you find peace in knowing that Dr. Callahan was so well-regarded in his life.

-Larisa, MMS

D Dick,Susan,Chris,Nicole,Stephanie,& Eric Smith on Jan 4, 2012

A thought from a headstone in Ireland:

       "Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,

         Love leaves a memory no one can steal."

R Roxanne Dales on Jan 4, 2012

Our family is greatly saddened by the passing of such a wonderful person.  He has been a part of our lives since our daughter started coming to Mayo over 10 years ago. He listened to her when no one else would; didn''''t think any question was silly; he cared for her like his own daughter.  He often talked about his family with us, as we shared common interests.  Ginger came to him when she was quite young and we all believe he is the reason she is still alive today.  His earthly passing has left a huge hole in all of our hearts, but we know that his gift and his spirit continues in heaven and in us.  May your family find peace and comfort in knowing that he loved you, respected you, and was proud of you.  

He was one of a kind and will be sorely missed.

God bless you.

P Peter Li on Jan 4, 2012

I am profoundly sorry for your loss. Dr. Callahan has touched so many lives with kindness and his positive outlook on life. He is one of the best teacher for cardiology fellows rotating through Echo. I will never forget his words of encouragement in difficult times.

God bless him!

J Judith Dunker-Uher on Jan 4, 2012

To Dr. Mark Callahans family,

It is with much saddness that I write to U today. I want to extend my deepest sympathy to you all. I met Dr. Callahan as a paitent that he squeezed into his busy schedule as a favor to my daughter, Robin, who then worked at Mayo in the cardiac field. I met him as a Dr. and left the appt. knowing him as my friend. It wasn't just once or twice he that he accomodated me as his patient when he was snowed under with his schedule. He was a tribute to all of the medical field with the caring, understanding and expertise in his field. He also helped my family in other ways, when we needed someone to give us direction for help with a medical situation. I want to express my gratitude to him and my utmost sympathy to you, his family.

P Patrick M. Dill on Jan 4, 2012

He was a champion. All the doctors he introduced to me and my family were superstars and they all respected him greatly.

C Casey Caldwell on Jan 4, 2012

Dear Jane, Sarah, Matthew, Dorothy, Christopher, Peter, Paul, Joan, Peg and Betsy,

I am so very sorry for your loss.  I feel so blessed to have known Mark for more than 30 years and to have worked closely with him since 2002 on the Mexico mission trips.  What a tragic loss for all of us:  family, friends and patients.  He was a great doctor, clinician, teacher, mentor, and friend an all around great guy.  The tears come so easily for me, I cant even begin to imagine what you must feel.  I am so sorry.

When I think back on his many contributions to others and a corresponding bible verse, I think of Matthew 25: 35-40 (Then the King will say to those at his right hand, Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?  And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee?  And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?  And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.) --- what a great demonstration of living this out and a tremendous example to all of us.

We lost a wonderful person much too soon and much much too suddenly.  I believe that if Mark could speak to us now, that his legacy would be tell us to continue to care for others.  It will be much harder to carry on without him, but that is what he would want us to do.  The love, care and concern he showed for others was remarkable.

Please accept my deepest sympathies and most sincere condolences. and know that if there is anything at all I can do for you now or in the future, that I will do my best.

J John & Marion Lynch on Jan 4, 2012

We wish to express our sincere condolences to Jane, the children, and family in the sudden loss of Mark. A unique , selfless, and special individual that one could ever hope to know. His pervasive humor colored much of what he did, never without a smile or comment. He touched many in the time he gave, how much he gave, and how well he did so many things. He will be missed by all who knew him. God bless Mark and his family. Rest in peace my old friend.

M Marie Peebles on Jan 4, 2012

Though his spirit has left his body,


in our memories.

We are blessed.

R Richard and Susan Smith & family on Jan 3, 2012

Dear Callahan family,

We share your sorrow on the loss of your beloved Mark.  He was extraordinary!  Words cannot express how much he will be missed.  It is an honor to have served  with such a remarkable physician and friend on the Ensenada medical missions and we cherish the time shared with him in Mexico each July. His compassion, humor, kindness, patience, and energy were an inspiration for us all.  He will remain in our hearts forever.  We pray that God will bless you, embrace you, comfort you, and grant you healing, strength, and peace.

C CV Inpatient Service RN''s and Outreach Clinica.. on Jan 3, 2012

"We love Him because He first loved us."  1 John 4:9-10

Dear Callahan family,

Dr. Callahan blessed our live by living this verse everyday. We loved his wit, humor, kind words, intellect, teaching, expertise, and desire to make the world a better place. We are better people because of him. He is missed greatly.

CV Inpatient Service RN's and CV Outreach Clinical Assistants

J Jill Kappers on Jan 3, 2012


Sending my deeptest sympathies.  I am so sorry for your loss

and am thinking of and praying for you and your family.


L Larry and Aida Miller on Jan 3, 2012

Dear Jane and Family,

Our deepest sympathy on the passing of an exceptional Dr., husband, father, friend, and world server....Dr. Mark Callahan.

The love and respect shown to him by so many from various walks of life on this condolence book is a testament to how he was regarded.  

Mark was our doctor and friend.  Like so many others that his life touched, we too, experienced excellence in care from this remarkable person.  We are glad that we had the opportunity to tell him in person how proud we were of him for all his volunteer work with the less fortunate in the Rochester area, Cuba, Mexico, and Guatemala.  

Mark often talked to us about how much he cared for and loved Jane and his adventurous son and daughter.  

Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with you.

God bless Mark Callahan.

Larry and Aida Miller

M Mike and Maria Adamson on Jan 3, 2012

Dear Jane, Matt and Sarah,

Please accept our heartfelt condolences.  What a shock for you and all who loved him.  We understand what you are going through at this time.  We know your hearts are broken.It is difficult to understand God''s plan for life and choosing to take those we love.   Embrace the love and support all around you.  Take comfort in each other.  We are so sorry.

Mike and Maria Adamsontravel

B Brandon Dallman on Jan 3, 2012

Jane and all the Callahan Family,

  I am deeply saddened to hear of Mark''s passing.  

  I have many, many fond memories of him over the years, in school, growing up and, of course, the wonderful times we had at our "M.O.M." gatherings.


  I know he was highly respected as a physician and his work changed the lives of many.  His friendship, generosity and delightful sense of humor were unsurpassed.  I always considered it a privilege to be his friend.


  Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.  I will remember Mark with great respect and admiration.

Very sincerely,


E Elsa Rector on Jan 3, 2012

No! Not Mark! How could such a wonderful man be gone from our lives. He was always one of my favorite people on the medical mission to Mexico. When we would meet at the border just north of Tijuana, his warm bear hug was most welcome. His humor and compassion were boundless. My last memory of him was one of belly laughing and joy. Farewell, Friend! Now the bubbles will be for you.

Love to the Callahan family.

m mary trella on Jan 3, 2012

May threads of comfort weave into the grief garment that surrounds you.  An example of the respect he had for the "triangle of patient, doctor, nurse--- I, the nurse, had left the patients room for a brief period while Dr was talking with the patient. I returned to his saying:"she vomited, I measured, emptied and the amt is on the board there". Respect was a characteristic he displayed to all. What the world has lost,but what we gained by knowing him

C Chander Singh on Jan 3, 2012

Dear Dr. Callahan Family,

Please accept my deepest sorrows and sympathy. I worked with Dr. Callahan for over 25 years and learned a lot from him. I found him one of the most humble, compassionate, and kind person. It is very hard to put it into words for what he did for mankind. He truely reflected the Mayo philosphy "patient always came first for him". DR. Callahan will be missed always.

Chander Singh

E Elsa Rector on Jan 3, 2012

To all members of the Callahan Family...

This is too sad! You have had a precious man taken from you, a man full of so much humor and compassion. Mark's big bear hug when we met just north of Tijuana was something I always looked forward to. My last memory of him is one filled with belly laughing and joy.

I will be carrying you in my heart for a long time. Jane, as someone once said to me, it's like being ripped in half.

May God comfort and keep you through this grieving time. Grieve, grieve mightily, for grieving shall be followed by peace.

A Amy Rehm on Jan 3, 2012

To the Callahan family:

In 1998, I was a fresh nursing graduate getting my first taste of hospital nursing on Francis 4C.  I was overwhelmed and intimidated by being part of the Mayo Clinic.  Dr. Callahan was a friendly smile that greeted me in the halls.  I always knew that if he was the consultant that day my patients would receive the best of care, delivered in a warm, compassionate manner.  I also knew that I would be respected and treated kindly, as a colleague.  His patients and colleagues praise him for the wonderful physician he was, and the incredible human being we had the privilege to know.  May God give your family strength and peace in your difficult days.

M Martha McClees on Jan 3, 2012

My memory of Mark was the year he was selected, "Teacher of the Year," by the Mayo Medical School students.  He sat in the front row and unfortunately the commencement speaker was overly conservative, using such phrases as, "guns don''t kill people, . . ." Mark sent us, at the Medical School administration, a one page, single-spaced, letter apologizing for not having the nerve to stand up and walk out on the speaker.  He then quoted Molly Ivins, regarding the entire speech, saying, "it sounded better in the original German." What a man.

Martha McClees

L Laurence, Lynn and Evelyn Torsher on Jan 3, 2012

We are saddened by Mark''s passing.  

He was such a gentleman.  He will be so missed by all whose lives he has touched.

S Svenja on Jan 3, 2012

Dear Callahan Family --

I remember Mark mostly as Peggy and Betsy''''s older brother when we were young children growing up in Rochester.  Even then his gentle spirit, kind heart, and wonderful humor were clearly evident.  May God love hold you close through this time.  Peace to you all.

Svenja Muenter

J Jill Curry on Jan 3, 2012

Callahans- I am so sad and shocked to hear of your loss. Mark was my father''s doctor and he always spoke fondly of Mark as his doctor. No one compares to his personal touch in every visit. When I needed help he added me to his list. He saved my life and helped me solve other medical mysteries through his compassion and persistent efforts. I feel for all of his family and patients. I can''t even imagine another doctor. He blessed each one of us in every visit through his caring and personal touches. Thank-you for sharing him with us when we needed him most. Our prayers are with your family-just know he has touched so many lives and will not be forgotten!

M Matthew Callstrom on Jan 3, 2012

Dear Callahan Family,

I'm so saddened for your loss.  Mark was one of the first

clinicians that I encountered in my path through medical

school and it was truly a blessing to know him.  Over the

past 20 years I''ve only increased my respect for his

knowledge, the great medical care he provided,

and his inspiring guidance to aspiring physicians.  

He is missed.

C Cheryl Zylla, performer with Lyra Baroque on Jan 3, 2012

I have such wonderful memories of Mark's generosity over many years, providing Lyra Baroque Orchestra with the BEST dinners before our concerts at Zumbro Lutheran.  He was always eager to feed us something special and that added so much to our performances.  As I heard of his passing I realize how too often we take such gentle spirits as his for granted--Rest in Peace, Mark.  We truly appreciated all you did.

G Ginger and Amy Kramer on Jan 3, 2012

Dr.Callahan is the greatest cardiologist, dr. and person we have ever had the privilege to know. My wife, Ginger, literally owes him her life. Words cannot express our sympathies enough for the loss of this great man. I cannot say enough good things about him. It is obvious that he is now among the angels watching over us all. May you find peace in knowing all the good he did and that he now can watch over us all in heaven.

Our deepest sympathies to his family and all who knew him. Dr. Callahan....thank you..thank you so much for truly were a gift to all of us.


D Don Cravath on Jan 3, 2012

I am so very sorry to hear about Mark.  He worked in our department in Medical Science while in school.  Everything the paper wrote about him is true.  He was a Great Doctor and Person!!  Don

G Gena Holten, RN on Jan 3, 2012

I had the honor and priviledge of working with Dr. Callahan

for the past 13 years, first on JO4B, and most recently in the

Echo Lab.  I don't know what more can be said after reading

all the comments here. I just know that I was lucky enough

to know this wonderful person and witness first hand his knowledge, compassion, and the genuine caring he had for his patients and those of us who worked along side him. I can't recall one time in those 13 years when Mark did not have a smile, a hug, and a kind word for those around him.

A few years ago, my father needed to see a Cardiologist here at Mayo and

Mark was the first person that came to my mind. He showed his

signature caring and genuine concern and treated both of my

parents as though he'd known them for years.  He made them

comfortable every step of the way and he continued to follow

dad's progress after they returned home.  He would always ask

me about my parents and I'll miss hearing him say, "How's the Old

Man?"  I can't imagine not seeing him in the halls smiling, waving,

and laughing with all of us.

To Mrs. Callahan and your children, my prayers for peace

and healing. Thank you for sharing the gift of your husband and

father with us.  His work here will go on as we all continue

to carry with us his influence and love for what we do everyday.

To Mark, to say thank you will never be enough.  It just won't

be the same without you. You will be sadly missed.


L Loretta Mogan on Jan 3, 2012

To the Callahan family:

We mourn with you in the loss of your husband, father, brother, uncle and friend, and I mourn with you, Mark was my friend. Every moment we shared was a joy because he was a good man and an inspiration; a man who always wore a smile, gave individual attention, remembered what you told him weeks ago about your family, and his ability to know exactly how to teach and to compliment.

Mark was willing to support me during the six months my husband fought his battle with cancer.  He checked with me every day to make sure my husband was not suffering and to see I understood what was going on.

He was so good to step in and help with the annual Echo Lab picnic, to provide the kids bouncy toys and to be at the park early in order to clean the area. Jane and Sarah were there too, it became a Callahan family affair.

The lab was so proud of Mark participating in YAM the annual Young Adult Mission trip to Guatemala. The medical team served in the highlands of Guatemala, in the region around Chichicastenago. Mark was proud of this work and the people who participated.

Jane, I know that too many times in Marks life at Mayo, he was called upon to work and as his wife, you gave him strength and allowed him to spend so much time as a physician. Now, in all humility and honor we offer you our strength.

Mark will be missed. Now we must remember his excellence and make it his lasting legacy and wish his spirit live on in all of us.

Sending comfort to the Callahan family and peace to Mark.

S Steve Farrell on Jan 3, 2012

Mark, also known as Uncle Doctor Mark and Uncle He Who Holds Me Upside Down by our two children, Elisabeth and David, was truly all the things that people have said and so very much more.  I entered the Callahan clan officially in July, 1987.  Because of circumstances at our wedding (my Best Person was 8 months pregnant and due any moment) Mark was willing to move from usher to groomsman if needed.  Before the wedding he was helping to time contractions, and joked that he really didnt want to deliver a baby.  I know he would have helped, if needed.  But, no baby that day, so Mark was off the hook.  Eventually our two children came along.   At every Callahan gathering, and there were many in those 24 years, Mark would enter his parents home or we would enter his home and our two children would begin to vie for his attention.  He did a remarkable job giving our two children and the other nieces all the attention that they needed from their Uncle Mark.  And, since there were so many in attendance on these occasions, there was always a table that the children gravitated to.  If you were looking for Mark, youd find him there, mingling with the next generation, listening to them, joking with them, giving guidance or offering some kind words.  When our son David was younger he would always insist that Mark pick him up and twirl him around, holding him momentarily upside down, thus Marks other name.  Our daughter, Elisabeth, had her special bond to Uncle Mark.  She would arrange play dates with him after she started college at St. Catherine University.  One time they went on a Segway tour of Minneapolis; another time to the Renaissance Festival.  As so many have said before, Mark took the time with people.  I am sure that is how his patients were helped in their healing process as well as through his vast medical knowledge and skill.  Even though I am Marks brother-in-law we called each other uncle.  So, I too will miss his bear hugs as we traditionally greeted each other with Hello, Uncle Mark!  Well, hello Uncle Steve!  Or, as we left each other Good-bye Uncle Steve!  Good-bye Uncle Mark!  I will miss you!  We will all miss you!

G Ginger Kramer on Jan 3, 2012

Dr. Callahan was an amazing physican and an amazing man. He had such a big heart and the kindest eyes, and a laugh that was contagious...I meet him about 10years ago when i started coming to Mayo. He was Always in my corner..always looking for the best solutions to my many heart problems. He went above and beyond as a physican. I  thought of him as my second dad. He is the reason im still alive and i will forever be thankful. I will miss him thoughts and prayers go out to his family for their loss.

R Russell Miller on Jan 3, 2012

Dear Callahan Family,

My heartfelt condolences on the death of Mark. May God give you all the strength to bear this loss to your family.

T Tony Jameson and Karin Vogel on Jan 2, 2012

Dear Jane, Matt, and Sarah,

Just last week, we were browsing through the photo album "Harvard Reunion - Tag, Tony and Mark - June 2009", which Jane and Mark had lovingly prepared (see, for example, the image submitted to the Photos section of this page). We recalled how Mark had seemed much like the college student of the early 1970s: enjoying every event and capturing verbally like a skilled cartoonist the personality quirks of his friends and classmates. In Lionel Hall and Kirkland House, Mark had always been there to help a roommate through an all-nighter with a cup of coffee and some humorous remarks; or to cheer up a friend whose latest date hadn't gone quite as expected.

But the dedicated physician of the intervening decades was equally visible: Rarely did a few minutes pass without Mark counseling and encouraging one of his patients back home through his ever-present Blackberry. The suggestion that he might relax for a couple of days and just enjoy his reunion was dismissed with a chuckle.

A man who devoted most of his life to keeping people healthy and happy during their later years deserved to share this phase of his own life with his family and friends. Sad as we are that this reward has not been granted, we take comfort in the knowledge that Mark will live on in the hearts and minds of the many whose lives were enriched by his.

- Tony and Karin

T Tag Murphy on Jan 2, 2012

Mark was my best friend.  I'm on vacation in rather obscure parts of northern Thailand and hadn't checked my old e-mail address for a couple of days (Mark had my new one since of course he had been on the list of friends and family to whom I had sent accounts during the days right after the earthquake/tsunami) the old one was the one Peter and Matt had; when I opened it this morning, I had e-mails from both of them with the news of Mark's death.    I was closest to him during that poignant time when a boy is becoming a man, the years when the heart and the mind are almost set but not quite, and thus at their most open and vulnerable.  He put up with me I was not easy to put up with in a way that no one else in my entire life has ever quite matched.

  If I had to pick one memory of the hundreds pressing in on me, it would be one afternoon during our senior year in college when I came back to the room we shared with Tone and Steven.  He was standing there, distraught; he practically fell onto me, and started crying.  He had gotten back moments earlier, had picked up the mail, and had seen his acceptance letter into medical school.  He had become so involved with the theater (he was master carpenter for several productions at the Loeb) that he had let his grades slip almost didn't make it through organic chemistry.  The mixture of relief and guilt he knew the acceptance was a near thing had overwhelmed him.  What overwhelmed me was that for once, our usual roles were reversed he had turned to me for solace and support; somehow I had earned it, I still have no idea how.

    Everyone loved him.  It was true then; if anyone doubts that that continued to be true, all they need do is read the testimonials below.  The only person I can think of who knew him well and didn't love him or at least didn't love him as much as he deserved was Mark himself. My heart aches for Jane, and Matt and Sarah; for Dorothy, Chris, Peter, Paul, Joannie, Peg, and Betsy; for the sick whom he helped to heal; for his colleagues and friends.  But it aches, selfishly, the most for me -- deprived and abandoned for once by someone who would never consciously do that to people he cared about: abandon them.

  I love you, Mark, and I can't stand it that you're gone.

G Gary and Mary Schumann on Jan 2, 2012

To the family of Dr. Mark Callahan,

Our hearts are grieved at the loss of our beloved doctor and dear friend, Dr. Callahan.  It was our privilege to know him . . . and to know him was to love him.  Every year we looked forward to seeing him at our yearly physicals.  He was kind, caring, considerate and a perfect gentleman.  He always took an interest in our family and was a wonderful listener.  We will miss him dearly.  May you feel the love of family and friends at this time.  You are in our thoughts and prayers.  

Gary & Mary Schumann

J Jim Garvey on Jan 2, 2012

Mark - Too young.  Horrible news.  I don't know your family; but, I wish them strength and peace and the ability to overcome.  I'm praying for you and them.  At least we saw each other at the 35th.  Your friend and classmate.  Jim

S Salah on Jan 2, 2012

My heart weeb for such a a great loss.

Mark was a blessing to many people.

May Christ give rest to his soul and peace to his wife, children, mom, and his brothers and sisters.

B Boye and Buki Ogunseitan on Jan 2, 2012

To Jane, Sarah, Matt, Betsy, the entire Callahan family, Mark's Mayo, Guatemala, Ensenada families, our sincerest and heart felt condolences. I can only agree and reaffirm everything that has been said above about Mark's boundless generosity of spirit and of self. I had the fortune of training under him as a Mayo resident, and also of working alongside him on mission trips to Ensenada. Many memories rise to the surface but common themes run through them. His kindness, his warmth, his humor, his humility, his compassion and empathy. I saw him care for some of the most privileged, successful people in Rochester as well as for some of the poorest, deprived people in Ensenada, Mexico. Anyone he cared for got the highest quality of care regardless of personal circumstance or location. Like many of my colleagues we appreciated his dedication to not just caring for his patients but also for the teams he worked in. He had a knack for not just learning how to pronounce names properly, but also to remember names of coworkers and their loved ones. His generosity to the people and groups he served was exemplary, his generosity to his colleagues was also peerless.

He will truly be missed. We hope you find some solace in that he lived an extraordinary life, enjoyed it greatly and brought great joy and laughter to all he encountered.


Boye and Buki

O Odell Barduson on Jan 2, 2012

The shock of hearing of Mark's death has not yet set in.  I was one of his first patients and looked at him as "my personal doctor" as he always took any call and made you feel at ease.  He graciously took on as patients our 2 daughers, one of which would not be here today if he hadn't made the right referrals.  I am now 90 and certainly planned on him as my doctor the rest of my life.  No  one was more caring and took as much time with you as needed.  My sympathy to the family.  I almost feel I know you as each year he filled you in on them.  After nearly 30 years with Dr.  Callahan it will be strange to find a new primary and I am sure none could compare with Mark.

Odell, Barb, Jan Tripp and Jill Curry

B Bob Goldberger on Jan 2, 2012

I have had a heart condition for 30 years.  Fifteen years ago I needed a cardiologist at Mayo. I called Dr. McDonald, head of the ENT department.  I asked him to help me find the "best".  He said not only did I need a superior doctor "medically" but a special human being who appreciated the gifts God gives to doctors because he knew what I believed in.  He said that man was Dr. Mark Callahan.  Now, years later, I feel a brother has passed away.  I''m sure we all feel he is already one of God''s angels.  May God bless your family Mark.  We will all miss you.  Our loss is heaven''s gain.

S Steven Friedman on Jan 2, 2012

Mark was a great soul. With unfathomable depths of compassion. He was kind, comforting, buoyant, radiant, and true.

For the sake of all of us, he left too soon. His warm sun, to our faint moon.

My deepest condolences, and abiding love.

Steven Friedman,  college roommate.

P Peggy Callahan on Jan 2, 2012

My brother Mark left us without warning this week.  Many of us feel directionless when, for the first time in our lives, our big brother who took care of everything, is gone.  We all called upon him for help with life''s minutia, but I was perhaps the most troublesome sibling.  His compassion and dedication to humanity made it easy for me to call upon him when any family, friend or associate needed to be seen at the Mayo.  Each and every person was greeted with the same measure of professional care, love, and delicious sense of humor.

He was the man who took care of my animals when I asked for help, even though it was not his expertise. He made certain that our summer science camp students had microscopes and astronomy equipment to use; he seemed to know just when my personal struggles were too much, and an envelope of cash or a gift certificate to a B&B would arrive.

I don''t know where to go from here without him.  He always made everything ok, so I am looking to the heavens to loan him out one last time, so that I can get from him what he gave so freely-- the gift of love and comfort. I love you, Mark

P Pat Corrigan Cotter on Jan 2, 2012

I knew Mark when he was in grade school and high school and was a close friend of my brother''s. Shocked and sad to hear of his death and after reading the condolences I can see he turned out to be a wonderful man!

Pat Corrigan Cotter

L Lori Peterson on Jan 1, 2012

I didn't know Mark personally.  But I know his sister Peggy (and family) very well. She is my best friend. Peggy spoke often with great pride about her fabulously brilliant, compassionate and hilarious brother, Mark.  She told me about his charity work, his professional life, and his dedication to Peggy's animal rescue work (Peggy and I run a sanctuary for homeless dogs, horses and other creatures together).  

Peggy now speaks of the terrible loss and shock at losing such an exceptional human being.  When she first learned of his diagnosis, she was told he had six months.  She was in shock.  When shortly therafter he was lost to this world, her world was shattered.

What stands out to me about Mark from what Peggy has told me, and from what I am reading here, is that Mark wasn't just a pebble in a pond...he was a boulder.  Most of us strive to just be able to be a pebble in a pond...making ripples of change that move outward.  Mark's efforts created tidal waves of change in so many it is incalculable.

How can anyone fill the incredible void left by his passing?  This doesn't being to address his loss, but I'm moved to challenge myself and everyone who loved Mark: let's carry on his legacy by doing more to alleviate suffering, being better people, showing more compassion.  I vow to do more to help Peggy with her animal rescue efforts, as Mark would have continued to do, had he lived.  Are there others who will step up to the plate to extend Mark's legacy?  Will you join in supporting Peggy's rescue efforts? Will you support Doctors Without Borders and other causes Mark loved?

The love and respect shown to Mark by so many in this condolence book is amazing.  Putting that into actions would honor Mark most.  This tremendous loss reminds us just how short and fragile life is.  Let's do the most we can to alleviate suffering in the time we are allowed.  Let's make Mark proud.

L Laurie & Royce DeCook on Jan 1, 2012

Jane, Matt & Sarah -

There are no words to express the sadness we feel for you now.  As so many others have already made clear in their messages, Mark was a joy to all who knew him and a person many turned to for guidance, advice, and friendship.  We pray that many fond/loving memories will be a comfort to you in the weeks and months ahead.  Our love.

R Randy Hemann on Jan 1, 2012

Speaking not only for myself, but the entire amateur astronomy community here in Rochester and surrounding areas, we will miss Mark ever so much. He contributed more to our club then most people realized, yet he deftly avoided taking any credit. We appreciate his many contributions to the scouts and astronomy outreach programs.  His great knowledge, cool wit, and calming demeanor aided and inspired more individuals then he knew.  We can only hope his family finds some solace in knowing that his presence continues on in many, many other lives.

M Meg Johnson on Jan 1, 2012

Dear Callahan family:

I can only imagine your shock and pain at this point.  Mark was truly a wonderful physician to work with, an amazing physician to have care for my son, a fabulous teacher,  and most of all an wonderful human being.  

He will be missed by everyone who was fortunate to have been impacted by his life.  

My thoughts and prayers are with you over these next months and years as you grieve and draw on his spirit, your faith and the love of those around you for inspiration to do as he would have wanted you to.  

With deepest sympathy

Meg Johnson

M Mark and Carol Ramler on Jan 1, 2012

Jane, Matt & Sarah ..

I cannot express my personal heartfelt sorrow for the loss of Mark.  I considered him to be my brother.  He was and always shall be a man that I will admire, not only for all the people he helped, but for the incredible person he truly was.  Never an unkind word, he was what all of us should strive to be in our lives.  I know that his legacy will not soon be forgotten.  He was a man of amazing insight and honest integrity.  Mark, I shall miss you always, you were my friend and mentor.  May God look over you and shine his perpetual light upon all the lives that you have gently touched and to your family in their time of need.

With Deepest Sympathy,

Mark and Carol Ramler

S Sheila Kitzmann on Jan 1, 2012

Dear Callahan Family-

    Reading through all of these condolences I am struck by how apt the heartfelt descriptions of Dr. Callahan are--he truly was all of those things and yet he was so much more--how can you put that into words--how do you capture the essence of the incredible individual that he was and put it into words?  I asked Dr. Callahan to see my dad when he was having chest pain about 8 years ago and the first thing that came out of his mouth when my dad walked through the door was " I like your hair cut" and my dad replied with " looks like we have the same barber" ... as indeed they both had the same "hairstyle".   Dr. Callahan has touched so many peoples and his legacy will live on in the hearts of those that ever had the fortune of meeting this truly amazing man.  

With heartfelt sympathy and deepest respect-

Godspeed Dr. Callahan

You will truly be missed

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