John David Callahan was born on February 10th, 1969 in Lafayette, Indiana to Clarence and Diana Callahan. After his sister Amy was born in 1972, the family made a permanent move to Corvallis, Oregon. After a short time on a farm at the base of Bald Hill, the family moved to a homestead in the foothills of the Coastal Range, on 12 acres of forested land where John and his sister would roam the countryside looking for lizards, snakes, fish, and other outdoor mischief.
John attended Corvallis High School where he was active as a soccer goalie for the CHS Spartans from 1983-1987. John came into his own on Taylor field playing soccer under then Coach Tony Vandermeer. John’s light-hearted manner, sense of humor, and knack for making friends created many lasting relationships that stayed with him for over twenty years. John was very competitive on the field but tempered that with good sportsmanship and teamwork. His attitude of hard work and perseverance carried with him off the field. After he graduated from CHS, John began coaching for the team and later graduated from Oregon State University with a bachelor’s degree in business. While going through school, John worked at Cub Foods (now known as Winco) where he met the love of his life, Carla, whom he married in 1995. They had two children, Aidan and Anna, and lived on the family homestead.
John began working at Hewlett-Packard in Corvallis in 1997 while at the same time coaching during soccer season. Throughout his career, he was the boys’ goalie coach, Freshmen, JV, and eventually Varsity coach. He loved coaching kids and had a particular soft spot for the ones that were like him on the field – hardworking, caring about each other, and dedicated. He urged players to continue playing after high school and inserted his influence where he could to help them play for colleges or teams they didn’t think possible. This was especially rewarding to him – to see players continue to play and enjoy the game throughout their lives. In 2014 John was happy to also start coaching for his daughter’s team with Corvallis Soccer Club. These girls held a special place in his heart and he looked forward to possibly having the chance to one day coach his daughter in High School. John spent over 20 years of his life dedicated to CHS and helping kids learn about themselves through soccer.
John changed people’s lives wherever he went. From his time at CHS in the soccer program, to his time at Winco, to his co-workers at Hewlett-Packard – he knew no strangers and always had time for a friendly hello. He was a wonderful husband, son, and loving father and made everyone happier when he was around. The John Callahan Memorial Scholarship was established at the Benton Community Foundation by his family and friends to honor his legacy and as a way to continue helping youth in the Corvallis community.