Obituary Listings

Donald Callen

November 7, 1946 March 14, 2019
Donald Callen
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Obituary for Donald Callen

Donald Marvin Callen was born on November 7, 1946 to Rev. David and Claris (Holcomb) Callen of Niagara Falls, NY. He graduated from Cassadaga Valley High School in 1964 and earned his BA from Roberts Wesleyan College in North Chili, NY. Don served as an U.S. Army interpreter in Vietnam, before returning to complete his senior year of college in 1970-71. He earned his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University.

In 1979, Don accepted a teaching position at Bowling Green State University, where he served as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy until his retirement in 2015. His initial specialization was Aesthetics. He subsequently explored: 19th and 20th century German and French philosophies; American Pragmatism; Environmental Philosophy and Critical Studies of Film; Gender, and Sexuality. He played a pivotal role in the development of the doctoral programs in Philosophy and American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University.

In addition to his academic pursuits, Don was an accomplished pianist. He loved all manner of art. He spoke four languages, including French and Vietnamese. He enjoyed the theater and films. Don was a devoted animal lover and environmentalist. While he was quiet and studious, Don had a keen wit and fantastic sense of humor. Don was much loved by his family, as well as his former students and colleagues, who remember his gentle humility, kindness and strong ideals. Don remained active throughout the last months of his life. Ever the polymath, he took up pottery classes at The 577 Foundation, and he enjoyed them immensely. He continued to read and learn until his final days.

On Thursday evening, March 14, 2019, following a courageous, four-year battle with cancer, Don passed away at Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg surrounded by loving family and friends. Don’s surviving family members include: his sister, Dava Jean Hannah and niece, Jeannie Lynn Hannah, both of Northfield, Minnesota; cousins Sue and Jerry Rossi of Woodburn, Indiana; Richard and Karen Fairbanks of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Kenneth and Becky Fairbanks of Murray, Kentucky. He was preceded in death by the following family members: his parents and grandparents; his sister Donna Ruth; brothers Dale and James, and brother-in-law Robert Hannah. In lieu of flowers, Don’s family requests memorial donations to: The 577 Foundation; The Friends of Wood County Parks and The Black Swamp Conservancy.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Dunn Funeral Home in Bowling Green. To share an online condolence or fond memory please visit

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