October 30, 2005
Published 12:00 am Monday, October 31, 2005
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Dr. Alston Callahan
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Alston Callahan, M.D., died in Birmingham, Ala., Friday, Oct. 28, 2005. He was 94.
Mr. Callahan was born in Vicksburg and graduated from Tulane Medical School in 1935. He was a practicing ophthalmologist in Vicksburg from 1935 to 1941.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Eivor Alice Holst, and two sons, Kevin Callahan and Patrick Callahan.
Survivors include two daughters, Kristina Alice Callahan of Valley Village, Calif. and Karin Eivor Callahan; two sons, Michael Callahan and Timothy Alston Rucker, both of Birmingham; and nine grandchildren. He will be dearly missed by his loving family. Dr. Callahan wanted to acknowledge the special help that Fannie Raby gave to him and Mrs. Eivor Callahan for over 20 years.
In the Second World War, he served as chief of the Eye Section of the U.S. Army Northington General Hospital in Tuscaloosa, Ala., from 1942-46. He led a team of four ophthalmologists who operated on many hundreds of soldiers to restore their eyesight, eyelids, and orbital structures. For 40 years, he gave surgical instruction to several hundred young ophthalmologists.
In 1996, he was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor. In 1999, UAB President Ann Reynolds and the University of Alabama Trustees renamed the Eye Foundation Hospital the Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital in his honor. Also in 1999, the Birmingham Museum of Art Trustees named the Indian and Southeast Asian Art Gallery for Eivor and Alston Callahan. This initiated the annual Asian Art Lecture Series and the planned acquisition of additional Indian Art. In 2000, the Mayor and City Council of Birmingham elected Dr. Callahan to the “Gallery of Distinguished Citizens” of Birmingham. In 2004, the Board of Directors of the Eye Foundation Inc. established the Alston Callahan, M.D. Employee Education and Development Fund.
There is no visitation. A memorial service will be held for Dr. Callahan at 3:30 p.m. today at Highlands United Methodist Church, where he had been a member since 1946. Dr. David Carboni will officiate.
The Callahan family wants to expresss appreciation to New Beacon Hospice, especially Jackie Dicie Demetria Caffie, Brenda Jackson, Sharon Jackson and Nan Heard.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to a charity of the donor’s choice or to the International Retinal Research Foundation or the Employee Education and Development Fund at the Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital, both at 1720 University Blvd., Birmingham, AL, 35233.
Ridout’s Valley Chapel is coordinating the arrangements.