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Our loving son, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle, husband, Veteran, and friend, Andrew Cooper Callahan, passed away at the age of 64 peacefully and in the comfort of his own home; surrounded by his family on July 3, 2019.
Andy was born on May 3, 1955, in Tacoma Washington to Jesse Andrew Callahan and Ruth Eileen Cooper. He is preceded in death by his parents.
Andy is survived by his wife Diana, his four daughters, Eileen Heath (Randy), Mary Callahan (Jerry), Tonia Callahan (Jerah), Kayla Crosby (Scott). Three step children, Diana Jr, John, and Natalia (Chase). seven grandchildren Kaden (Danielle), Kiesha, Kyson, Brooklyn, Amber, Katelyn (Drayk) and Kelsey (Josh). Two great-grandchildren, Zeppelin, Aria, and two step grandchildren William, & Remington.
Andy was the middle of five children, older brother Ron (Linda), sister Yvonne Whipple (Arland) and two younger brothers Kevin (Monique) and Gary (Jeri).
Andy graduated from Dixie High School in 1973. He then joined the Army shortly after. He did his basic training at Fort Ord in California, then, went to Military Police school in Fort Gordon, Georgia. After Serving for three years as a Military Policeman, Andy returned with his family to his roots of Southern Utah. Andy then joined the St. George Police Department in 1978 as a patrolman with the K-9 Unit. After several years, Andy followed his passion and love for Antique and high-performance Racecars. He opened his own shop, The Performance Shop, from 1978 to present. He later changed the name to Callahan Enterprises. Andy specialized in restoring old cars, fabrication his own racecars, and designing hand controls into all of his cars… if you dream it, he could build it.
Andy started racing at the age of 16 with his 56 and 58 Chevy’s in the 70s at the Dixie Raceway in St. George. He has been racing for more than 40 years.
He got sick in 1986, Andy caught a rare virus called Transverse Myelitis, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down confining him to a wheelchair. This would keep most people from doing many things such as driving racecars… but not Andy! Andy did have to forgo his lifelong love of racing for two years while he regained enough strength to continue his passion. After those two years, Andy was right back in that racecar and raced down many racetracks in the South West.
Andy never lost the desire to compete and was never a good spectator; he always wanted to be right in the middle of things. Andy is the quad/paraplegic world record holder for speed and quickness and has two world records on asphalt/quarter mile and two in sand drag racing. After NHRA refused to renew his license, he then converted his race car to compete in the sand. Andy then bought property in Beryl Junction and built his very own sand drag race track which became “The Callahan Hot Rod Ranch” that was run by his family and friends. Racers from all over would come to the track to have a great time. Besides racing his own race cars there, Andy built a dragster just for his daughters to run anytime they wanted to go spend time with dad.
Andy, along with many of his racing family, spent many hours of community service. Doing assemblies in many Southern Utah schools, displays in the malls, car shows, and businesses, promoting Drags Not Drugs… His hope was that students would see life’s adventures are best when unhindered by drugs or alcohol. Having a disability is never an excuse to use drugs, and put the alcohol in the gas tank.
Andy’s motto was “NEVER SAY NEVER” and that is how he lived his life.
Andy is a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He always believed in the power of prayer and paying an honest tithing.
Andy was always a rebel
Some of his famous sayings with us kids and grandchildren were…
(While looking in any mirror) “Boy, I can't wait until tomorrow,” (and we fell for it every time) ……” Why?!” Andy, “because I get better-looking every day!
“It’s easier to repent than to ask for permission.”
(With a pair of underwear on his head) he would call everyone “Butt Heads!!”
“What are they going to do… arrest a broken down gimp in a wheelchair!!”
“Just shoot em!”
“Pull my finger as he would rip one.”
“Do you want to go up to the ranch and burn turds (cow pies) and shoot some stuff up?”
“Put the petal to the metal and let’s burn some rubber”
“Alright” “tubular” “you can’t fix stupid!”
“I am just out in the garage tinkering”
“Go get your haircut you’re starting to look like a hippie”
“Close the door… Were you born in a barn?”
Funeral Services will be held Friday, July 12, 2019 at 2:00 pm at the Diamond Valley Stake Center. A Visitation will be from 1-1:45 pm prior to services at the same location.
Graveside services will be held at the Callahan Hot Rod Ranch (John McGarry Memorial Park Cemetery in Beryl Junction) immediately following the service.