William "Bill" Callahan
June 15, 1943 - June 18, 2021
On Friday, June 18 2021, William "Bill" Callahan, loving husband, father, tough-as-nails Marine, passed away at age 78.
Bill was born in 1943 in Soda Springs Idaho to Elease Herd Callahan and William Adiran Callahan. He graduated from Bountiful High lettering in baseball, basketball, and football. He attended Utah State University on a full football scholarship and was nicknamed "fighting bull" for his grit as a linebacker. He joined the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and graduated with a B.S. in Business.
Bill joined the Marine Corps. and flew the A4 Skyhawk in Vietnam, Call Sign: Few.
He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with Bronze Star, and the Navy Commendation Medal with combat V for outstanding service.
After the war, Bill flew Harrier Jump Jets and earned a spot in the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School, a.k.a. TOPGUN. He received the Bud Baker Award in 1978 as top Harrier aviator of the year and retired from the Marine Corps as a Lt. Colonel.
Bill continued as a private sector pilot including: Chief Pilot for Flying J, Captain for America West Airlines, and Director of Operations at Sports Jet. He relished the convergence of his two loves: flying and sports and attended games while flying the Utah Jazz, the Lakers, the Phoenix Suns, and the DiamondBacks around the country. Bill completed his career as a private pilot for a family out of Van Nuys, CA.
Of his 50 years as a pilot, Bill was grateful to spend 30 of those flying around the world for work and pleasure with his wife Cheri by his side. Bill and Cheri were avid scuba divers, achieving Diver Master certification and accumulating approximately 1,000 lifetime dives. Upon retirement, they settled on a ranch in Benson, AZ where Bill enjoyed riding horses, playing with his dogs, and equal parts teasing and spoiling his grandkids.
After a short illness, Bill passed away at home on the ranch he loved. He is survived by his wife Cheri; his daughters Nicki Callahan (granddaughter Kamryn); Traci (Clark) Rampton (grandchildren Jackson, William, Adelaide, and Henry); and stepdaughter Alicia (David) Armet (grandchildren Alexander, Emily, and Andrew), along with 3 nieces and 2 nephews, and their families. He will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.