This obituary originally appeared on O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home.
Patricia Joan McCabe Callahan of Newport, RI, passed away peacefully at home on February 4, 2021. Born on March 17, 1935 in Providence, RI, was the daughter of Sara (Larkin) and John Edward McCabe. She was the wife of the late Robert W. Callahan. She is survived by her son, Kevin C. (Ellen) Callahan of Burrillville, RI, and Sheila (Michael) Paglierani, her sister, Claire Thompson of Athens, Georgia and four grandchildren: Sean and Michael Callahan, and Sophia and Lydia Paglierani, and her two step-grandchildren, Patrick and Ryan Wright, and step great grandson, Dylan Wright. She was predeceased by her sister, Sheila Laurendeau of Lewiston, Maine. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Patricia grew up in Barrington, RI and attended Barrington High School, and earned her Liberal Arts Degree from Salve Regina University in 1959 and a Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of Rhode Island 1973. She began her career as an elementary school teacher in local schools, and later became the school librarian at Thompson Middle School in Newport from 1970-1995.
Patricia’s love of Newport was expressed in her active volunteerism and membership through these organizations: the Redwood Library, the Newport Art Museum, Seaside Garden Club, Friends of Newport Public Library, Ladies Ancient Order of the Hibernians, Circle of Scholars at Salve Regina University, Council for International Visitors, Retired Teachers of Newport County, and the Friday night group at the Pier Restaurant. As a lifelong learner and avid reader, she enjoyed volunteering at the Newport Public Library bookstore for many years and cherished sharing her passion for books with her dear book club friends.
Her love of travel began in 1970 when she and Robert and the family spent a year in Dublin, Ireland. Later on, they travelled to Europe, always returning to England, one of their favorite countries. She travelled with students to Russia in 1990, then she took subsequent trips to Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Italy, Turkey, and the Azores. Most of all, she was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother – she loved her family dearly and treasured her time with everyone, especially her four grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at St. Mary’s Church, Newport at 10:00 am. Seating is limited, masks and social distancing will be required. A private burial will follow at St. Columba Cemetery, Middletown. The family will host a celebration of life in Patricia’s honor later this spring.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to the Friends of the Newport Public Library, 300 Spring St, Newport, RI, www.newportlibraryri.org, and the Redwood Library, 50 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840, www.redwoodlibrary.org.
Services will be livestreamed, link to view will be available below shortly before Mass.