Franklin Countys First News

John Thomas Calloway (1934-2020)

John Thomas Calloway

AVON - A Beloved and beautiful man died in the early hours of July 13, 2020, after a long and valiant struggle against heart disease.

He was my husband.

John Thomas Calloway was born in 1934 to Helen Ames Calloway and John Calloway Sr. In Port Jefferson, New York. He attended schools in Port Jefferson and after high school, served in the Army. John later attended Adelphi University where he studied drama and education. After a brief career as an actor, he found his true calling in public service and education.

His career included work as Jobs Counselor-Coordinator and Deputy Director for the Office of Economic Opportunity in Nebraska, Community Organizer in New York City, Recreation Leader of adolescent psychiatric patients at Bellevue Hospital and Physical Education Director at a school for children with learning disabilities. After moving to Maine in 1981, he became a history and then classroom teacher for S.A.D. 58. During the summers of 1973-1979, John was owner and director of Calloway’s Traveling Camp, a program through which learning disabled boys and girls developed camping and canoeing skills while participating in the wilderness experience. John grew up during the Great Depression, World War II, and other major events that continued to shape our nation. He developed a keen understanding of American and European history and his knowledge about the founding of our country was scholarly. He inspired and mentored generations of students throughout his career. Upon retirement from teaching, John became an Avon selectman, a post he held for twenty years. He was Chair of the Franklin County Budget Committee for a number of years as well. John had a son by his first marriage, Kevin, who brought him great joy. In 1974, John fell in love with a young teacher named Karen Kaduson, and in 1977, they married. In 1981, the Calloway’s moved to Strong, Maine and ultimately settled in Avon. They built a good, strong life together and loved each other deeply. John’s interests included listening to music, camping, kayaking, gardening, reading, and adopting dogs.

John is survived by Karen Calloway, his wife of 43 years; dogs, Abbie and Belle; nieces, Barbara, Patty, Donna and their families; deeply loved grand-nephew, George Romonoyske and his family; his best friend, Steve Mitman and treasured friends Christi, Quincy and Ivy Mitman. John will be remembered fondly by the “Tuesday Group”, and many other dear friends and colleagues too numerous to count.

He is predeceased by his son, Kevin; sisters, Joan Wilson and Anna May Bone; and brother in-law, Fred Bone.

The family is grateful to Androscoggin Home Healthcare & Hospice for expert and compassionate care, as well as doctors Mylan Cohen, Armand Auger, Kristine Sanden, David Rice, PA Dave Huish, and their wonderful staffs.

In lieu of flowers, donations in John’s memory may be made to the Phillips Area Food Pantry (15 Russell St., Phillips, ME 04966) or the Franklin County Animal Shelter (550 Industry Road, Farmington, ME 04938).

Private burial will be held by family, with a public Celebration of Life to be held next summer (2021).

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 488 Farmington Falls Rd., Farmington, ME 04938.

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33 Responses »

  1. An absolutely amazing man who will be very greatly missed by all who knew him. I will miss our Wednesday talks, John! My heart is with you Karen. The world lost an amazing man.

  2. Mrs. Calloway, I am so sorry to hear of Mr. Calloway passing. He was a fun and interesting teacher. A man who genuinely cared for his students. I will always remember him fondly and laugh at his antics in the classroom. Warmest regards. Jackie Keene Sniadecki

  3. Thank you so much for this beautiful obituary Karen, which told me so many things about John that I had not known. RIP, John, and love and condolences and comfort to your beloved family and dear friends.

  4. My old mentor. John taught me some very valuable lessons while I student taught under him. Condolences to Karen.

  5. I had John as a teacher.. John alway spoke and he would always talk about old times. Great guy RIP my friend

  6. Karen, our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. John will be fondly remembered by all those people whose lives he touched.

  7. Love to all...he was such an influence in my life...always made me try harder and to expect more out of myself

  8. He was such a wonderful person, a one of a kind, always had a smile and always will to pitch in and help, wonderful teacher, he will be missed

  9. He was my 5th grade teacher and was very kind and there i learned a lot he had a lot of respect for his students he will be missed RIP and so sorry for

  10. John was an awesome man and I only wish Nathan had of had him or a teacher. I'm sure that he would have liked John very much. I will remember him fondly. And you Karen, may god carry you through this sad time til you no longer need him. Soar with the cardinals John. Love, and Condolences, Wendy, Nate, and Sierra

  11. So sorry to hear of John's passing. John was a fun (and slightly opinionated :)) colleague back 'in the day' and I can think of many times we shared laughs and mischievous insider jokes. He had a wonderful passion for kids. My heart goes out to you, Karen. Best wishes -

  12. Mrs. Calloway, I’m so sorry for your loss. He was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. One thing that I’ve never forgotten is Never Eat Soggy Wheaties. That was for remembering North, East, South and West. He was a special guy, and teacher.🥰

  13. Karen,
    Dana and I are incredibly sorry to learn of John’s passing. He was such a pillar in the community. May your treasured memories forever live on.

  14. Karen, so very sorry to hear about John. Many fond memories of working with him at Phillips Elementary many years ago. He was a person who touched many lives and he will be missed. Prayers for you and family.

  15. Mr. Calloway was a great teacher and person, I had the pleasure of being one of his students between 1981-1984. He was no nonsense; he treated you and expected you to act like a young adult. John will be missed by all.

  16. Heartfelt condolences!💕💕

    Missed dearly...
    Always remembered...
    Truly loved!💞

  17. Karen,
    A beautiful written memoir to honor a great man! He’ll be missed! Sending you much love! Ann

  18. Karen I am so sorry to hear about John.He was always a great neighbor Enjoyed our talks.My Condolences to Karen and the Family. You are in my thoughts and Prayers.Maggy

  19. John was more than a great teacher. He was an amazing person. He was a great influence to many students throughout his career as a teacher in Phillips. He hall mold many of us into the people that we have become. Rest In Peace John and know that you influenced generations of people. My condolences to you Mrs. Calloway.

  20. His was definitely a one of a kind teacher!! He tried to put me on the right path(& I will forever be grateful for that)!!
    And when I had my first child, he didn’t hesitate to come to the hospital to see me & my baby girl!!! He later, was her teacher as well!!! He would have gone above & beyond for any of his student!! The world just lost a good man!!! RIP Mr. Calloway!!! My heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Calloway, Abbie & Belle!! 💙

  21. Karen,
    So very sorry for the loss of your husband... He was a great guy!

  22. Karen,
    John was one of my favorite teachers while in school and in life. He and you have given alot to this community. It was great to see him so much when I lead the party and h
    e will truely be missed.

  23. Many fond memories of Mr. Calloway. He was a great teacher, mentor and leader and made personal connections with his students. He spoke to his students, not down to them. I still can hearhis NY accent with the utterance of " Lord love a duck" in my head. He will be greatly missed.

  24. Our thoughts and prayers are sent your way Karen. Liz and I fondly remember our days in Phillips and we are so sorry to hear of John's passing. I clearly remember when I interviewed John and he impressed me leading to the decision to bring him onto the staff. He influenced so many children and had a great passion for teaching. A life well lived.

  25. My deepest condolences for your loss.

  26. Dear Mrs.Calloway,
    I really enjoyed reading this obituary because you both were amazing teachers in my life and others. You both had been very caring about teaching us students what we needed in school I Praise God for bringing you both in my life.You both taught me so many things in my life as student in Phillips School. I pray the Lord your God is with you Mrs. Calloway as you go on to heal the death of your wonderful husband . Thank you both for the wonderful times at school and I pray for forgiveness of how I was once in school. God bless, Michelle Bachelder Thorne

  27. My heartfelt condolences to you Mrs. Calloway! Mr. Calloway has a great involved over me and so sick a great teacher! I often think of him. He’ll be missed. The world lost a precious soul!

  28. We will all miss this man and his impact on the area. John and I often debated issues but we always agreed to disagree and respected each other to the highest extent. john's impact on the students that he worked with can be spoken as 'second to none." I send prayers to his wife and family and hope that he is now with those friends who may have passed prior to him. God Bless.

  29. I'm so sorry to hear of John's passing. John (and Karen) were both instrumental pieces to our children's education, and many others within the greater Phillips community. Without a doubt, John's spirit will soar among us, guiding us in a direction toward opportunity, growth and stability. Much love to Karen.

  30. I will forever remember with the greatest happiness My first day of school starting 7th grade in a new school stranger in a strange land. I walk in and the first thing I meet is the wonderful big smile and that strange to my ears NY accent, This man warmly welcomed me into his class and we started to talk and we never stopped talking for the next year too, I will miss the great man Mr. Calloway was and the fun we had. I pray that God will bring hope and peace to you Mrs. Calloway along with the rest of your family.

  31. RIP Mr Galloway. Miss Phillips still. Loved it there. So many good memories of John. He was a wonderful man and will never be forgotten. Hope Ken and John are in that big classroom together sharing some laughs. I'm so sorry for your loss, Karen.

  32. I approached John with an idea for a community small business incubator. He thought I was cookoo. Then he got to WORK! The Opportunity Center of North Franklin County was formed in no small part thru John's efforts. HIs skills helped us organize the group and to keep it on target. All those years he was someone I admired enormously. I still hold warm memories of the squabbles we all had, and the eventual well thought out next steps he helped craft. He also was a supporter of indentured labor. I had to actually work for him, for a week, in exchange for an old but excellent bicycle. Of course, most of the effort was in leaning against a wood shed wall and debating this or that, but still.....
    What a special person. Karen, We are so sorry for your loss. Sincerely, Lauri Sibulkin and Nancy O'Toole