Obituaries » Jo-Ann Quilter Callahan
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May 17, 1943 - June 8, 2021
Funeral Home Russon Mortuary Farmington
Jo-Ann Quilter Callahan was reunited with her best friend and husband Kent Callahan on June 8, 2021. Where she also joined her daughter Jan, brothers Carl and Charles, Parents Alfred and Vera and In-laws Eva and Marlow in heaven.
Jo-Ann was born May 17, 1943 to Alfred and Vera Quilter. Although they were very poor her parents wanted her and her siblings to have every opportunity to learn; there were frequent trips to the library and whenever there was a free performance or art exhibition, they took their children. Because of these experiences Jo-Ann developed a lifelong love of the arts and music.
Jo-Ann attended the University of Utah were she joined the sorority Lambda Delta Sigma. She graduated in 1965 with a degree in elementary education. Although she never formally taught school she valued her education and her experiences at the U.
After a long courtship and engagement Jo-Ann married her high school sweetheart, Kent Marlow Callahan on December 3, 1964 in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was her constant companion through thick and thin. They have six children, Heather Callahan, Patrick (Danielle) Callahan, Alice (Dion) Richins, David (Sara) Callahan, Jan Callahan, and Becky (Jacob) Shapiro.
Jo-Ann believed you should seize whatever opportunities came, do what is required and then do more. Because of this philosophy, she has had a vast array of experiences. She has been a piano teacher, a music theater director, a journalist, a commercial construction estimator, a photographer, on the Davis County fair board, seven years as a service missionary, and chairwoman of the Farmington City arts program. Each time doing what was required and then doing more.
When a friend asked Jo-Ann if she would be interested in writing for a local newspaper. The job required her to take some pictures to go with the stories she wrote so Jo-Ann learned photography and she loved it. Years after she quit writing she still continued taking photographs. Jo-Ann won the grand prize for photography at the Utah State Fair in 2000 and her photographs were included in a textbook on the geology of National Parks.
Perhaps Jo-Ann’s greatest impact came through her work in community theater. She codirected an afterschool theater program for jr. high aged students. Several of her students became theater teachers. Later she was asked to chair the Farmington City Arts Program. When she started there was one summer musical with a small cast, when she retired the city program included musicals, dinner theater, and children’s theater with casts of over a hundred. Jo-Ann headed the efforts to build a community arts building in Farmington and contributed to the design of the building. In 2002 The National Recreation and Park Association gave Jo-Ann the R.O.S.E. Award (Recognition of Significant Effort) for her work in promoting activities “that enhance the quality of life for all people.”
In everything she did, the people she was doing it with was the most important. She was known for telling each child and grandchild they were her favorite. She had a great affection for teenagers, she would involve them in painting sets, walking in parades, and spent hours connecting with each one. The most important person in her life was her buddy, Kent. Together they drove every paved road in Utah but would never turn on the radio so they could talk. They would often take off for a quick drive and come back days later.
The opportunities came and went but two things remained constant, Jo-Ann’s faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and her devotion to her family. Please come and celebrate her life on Friday June 11th from 6:00 to 9:00 at the Richins’ residence, 371 South Buffalo Ranch Road Farmington. There will be a private service the following day.