James Allan O'Callaghan
James A. O'Callaghan
James Allan O'Callaghan

April 23, 1921 - July 29, 2018
Born in Hazelton, North Dakota
Resided in Urbandale, Iowa
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James (Jim) Allan O’Callaghan
April 23, 1921 - July 29, 2018

James Allan O'Callaghan, 97, passed away in Urbandale, Iowa on July 29, 2018.

Jim was born at home on the O'Callaghan farm in Hazelton, North Dakota the second son of Garry and Eliza O’Callaghan. He attended school in rural Emmons County, graduated from Hazelton High School in 1939, and was a student at Bismarck Junior College.

Jim enlisted in the United States Army on May 13, 1942. He served in the Army Medical Corps with the 201st General Hospital and was deployed to Europe a year later. At the Battle of the Bulge, he served as Mess Sergeant of the Officers mess of the 201st under General Bradley’s 12th Army Group. He received his discharge from service on December 6, 1945 after 43 months of service. He then completed his pre-law at Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana, and his law degree at Drake University, Des Moines. He concurrently resumed his Army service as a Second Lieutenant in the Medical Company of the 34th Red Bull Division of the Iowa National Guard, with which he served until his resignation in 1951.

Following his admission to the bar in 1951, he practiced law in the Des Moines Savings and Loan Building across from the Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines, Iowa, for over 30 years.

Always devoted first to his children and grandchildren, over the years he pursued interests as varied as flying airplanes—spending a summer barnstorming—racing cars, collecting and restoring antique guns, and studying and writing his Irish history/genealogy. He enjoyed his weekly Friday lunches with his law colleagues at Noah’s Ark for over 50 years.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents Garry and Eliza, his former wives Madge, Donna, and Helen, daughter Donna, son Robert, brother Garry, and granddaughter Tammy. He is survived by his son Michael (Joan Torgow) and their daughter Amy (Mike Marmarou); his daughter Stacie Lightner (Harold Schnasa) and her daughters, Lindsay and Lauren Lightner (Nick Carley); and Robert’s children Mary and Steve O’Callaghan (Julie), and several great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his nephews Allen and Larry O’Callaghan and their families.

Visitation will be Friday, September 7 from 4 to 6 pm at St Mark Lutheran Church, West Des Moines, IA. A memorial service, also at St Mark Lutheran Church, will be on Saturday, September 8 from 10 to 11 am with visitation from 9 to 10 am. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to VFW or charity of your choice.

Arrangements by Iles Westover Chapel

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Memorial Gathering
St. Mark Lutheran Church
1115 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines, IA US 50265
Friday, September 7, 2018
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Memorial Service
St. Mark Lutheran Church
1115 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines, IA US 50265
Saturday, September 8, 2018
10:00 AM
Glendale Cemetery
4909 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Saturday, September 8, 2018


A VFW or charity of your choice