Lorraine Shortell O’Callaghan, widow of John D. O’Callaghan Sr., died on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, at Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Lorraine was born on April 21, 1921, in Derby, Conn. She graduated from St. Mary Elementary School (1933) and Derby High School (1937). She graduated from Albertus Magnus College in 1941 with a B.A. degree in history and political science. Upon graduation from college, she worked for the State of Connecticut, Division of Child Welfare, as a supervisor. After her marriage to John O’Callaghan in 1945, she was a stay-at-home mom to her two sons.
Always interested in community affairs, she was active in many organizations. She served as president of the Women’s College Club, and was a charter member and president of the Lower Naugatuck Valley Chapter of the Albertus Magnus College Alumni Association. In 1956, she was named the first executive director of the newly established district office of Catholic Family Services, Archdiocese of Hartford. One of her first concerns was the lack of locally based social service agencies, requiring Valley residents to travel outside the Valley to receive services. She helped organize the Valley Social Workers Club, and served as its president. This club met regularly for several years, with the goal of encouraging outside agencies to become more familiar with the social service needs of the Valley, and to provide more local contacts. Lorraine served on the committee to establish the first local mental health association, and the planning committee that founded the Homemaker Service. Ansonia Mayor Joseph Doyle appointed her to the first committee on the aged, whose work resulted in the opening of the Ansonia Senior Center — the first one in the Valley. She was a board member of TEAM.
Lorraine was a specialist in adoption services, and served as the chairwoman of the Archdiocese of Hartford Adoption Advisory Committee. A longtime member of the board of directors of the Derby Historical Society, she received their Service Award in 2003, and was named an emeritus board member. She was a charter member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. She served as executive board member of the Huntington Chapter of AARP, and was a longtime member of the Ansonia Garden Club, and its treasurer for many years. Lorraine was an active member of Assumption Church, and a lifelong Red Sox fan.
In the fall of 2012, Lorraine moved to Oak Bluffs to be nearer to her son Jack, who resides on the Island. For the past five years she resided at Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, where she excelled at bingo and trivia contests, and took part in the many outings that were made available to her.
She is survived by her two sons, Jack of Vineyard Haven, and Kevin, who lives in Greensboro, N.C.; five grandchildren, Ryan, Sarah, Scott, Cheryl, and Robert; two great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 5 to 7 pm in the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs. On Friday, Feb. 9, her funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady Queen of the Apostles Church, 212 Elizabeth St. in Derby, Conn., at 11 am, with burial following in Mount St. Peter Cemetery, also in Derby.
In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful if a donation was made in her memory to the Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Recreational Fund, P.O. Box 1747, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.