Sally Callaghan

Obituary not available.



3:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Charles J. O'Shea Funeral Homes, Inc.
2515 N. Jerusalem Rd.
East Meadow, New York, United States


10:00 am
Friday, July 22, 2022
Sacred Heart Church
720 Merrick Ave
N. Merrick, New York, United States

Final Resting Place

Calverton National Cemetery
210 Princeton Blvd
Calverton, New York, United States


Sally Lee Wisler Callaghan, a resident of North Merrick and Jefferson, NY died peacefully at the age of 90 on Monday, July 18, 2022, surrounded by her family. She lost her beloved husband of 68 years, J. David (Dave), in March of this year, with whom she raised a family of eight children. She was a devoted Grandma Sally and Lala to 12 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren, a loving Aunt Sally to over 50 nieces and nephews (plus their spouses and children) and a life-long friend to many. Sally, the youngest of two girls, was born in 1931 to Sarah Lee Wisler. She grew up on Long Island and lived in many different apartments in Lynbrook, Malverne, Lakeview, and Rockville Centre, before settling in Merrick to raise her family. She graduated from St. Agnes High School in 1950 and received a full academic scholarship to attend St. Vincent’s for a degree in Nursing, where she built a career as a nurse and formed foundational, lifelong friendships. On the day of her graduation from St. Vincent’s in June 1953, she accepted Dave Callaghan’s proposal and the two were married in 1954. They had been introduced by Dave’s mother – who “picked” Sally for Dave when they were all neighbors in the Tudor Apartments in Rockville Centre. Dave and Sally were true partners – they took care of one another and came first in each other’s lives. Sally believed “once a nurse, always a nurse.” Her calling to nurse the sick, that spanned for over 50 years started at Mercy Hospital, ending her career there in the operating room. She was a practicing nurse from the time she graduated – she worked all throughout her time raising her family and in addition to her time at Mercy, she cared for patients at Cornell Medical College, South Nassau, Holly Paterson Nursing Home, and a home-based hospice agency.


Sally always focused on making the people she loved feel special and appreciated. She never forgot an anniversary or a birthday and always sent a beautiful card. She gave the most thoughtful gifts and was known to spend hours and hours wrapping Christmas presents. She was the biggest fan in the audience at her children’s and grandchildren’s special events, especially theater and music performances. The family dogs always knew they had a special place in Sally’s heart. Sally was an avid reader and a lifelong learner - she so enjoyed her continuing education courses at Hartwick College for 15 years and especially loved the opera course that brought her to SPAC performances. She sang constantly – often songs that she made up on the spot – which earned her the nickname Lala from some of her grandchildren. She loved art and flowers and being around beautiful things. She found easy joy from a bag of jelly beans and Jordan almonds, a bowl of coleslaw, or a shopping/lunch trip to Lord and Taylor. The golf club in Stamford was a very special place for Sally – it was the center of her social life and she helped beautify it with flowers on the porch she so loved to sit on. She approached her golf game with enthusiasm, but especially embraced the game as a way to be outside and to spend time with the people she loved.


Sally had truly great faith and was sure of God’s love and guidance. She believed heaven would be her release from any pain and suffering but was always grateful that her life was more filled with joy and blessings. She taught by example to love God and to trust him. Any heartache that she had, she brought to church and found comfort. She slept with her rosary beads every night, packed her travel pair for trips, and gave them as gifts. Sally was active at both Sacred Heart in North Merrick, serving in the Rosary Society and singing in the choir, and Sacred Heart in Jefferson. Sally was preceded in death by her husband J. David Callaghan, her mother Sarah Marie Lee Wisler and sister Alice Wisler Buzzeo, and her Callaghan siblings-in-law: Joseph (Florence and Mildred), Robert (Alice), Thomas (Mary Alice and Shirley) and Paul (Barbara) and his four sisters: Margaret (Joe) Barlin, Ruth (Walt) Geery, Angela (Bill) Tait (Jack) Coyle and Mary Rita (Al) Shady. She was the last of her generation in both families. Sally leaves behind her eight children: Leo, William (Mary Beth), Margaret, Patricia Doyle (Robert), Marilyn Kiernan (John), Timothy (Judi), Thomas (Peg) and Erin Baggett (T.J.) and her twelve grandchildren: Matthew (great grandson Hayden), Salem Glenn, Kevin, Peter, Angelina Casazza (husband David and great granddaughter Elizabeth), Emily, Christopher, Nicholas Caruso, Jake, Kurt, Meghan, and Melissa Callaghan. She treasured her only godchild, Eileen Geery Celis. We remember with tenderness the “JMJ” inscribed in script on the top of every single thing she wrote and her exclamations of “Heavens to Betsy.” She is always going to remind us to take care of each other and to keep God in our lives. Services at O’ Shea Funeral Home, East Meadow July 21 from 3-8 pm. Mass of Christian Burial July 22 at 10:00 at Sacred Heart Church, N Merrick NY. Interment at Calverton National Cemetery.
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