Joseph C. Callahan, a weapons research manager at Aberdeen Proving Ground, died Tuesday at his Fallston home of complications from lung cancer. He was 69.
Born in Salisbury, Mr. Callahan grew up in Northeast Baltimore on Cold Spring Lane. He graduated from Calvert Hall College High School in 1950 and entered the Air Force, where he worked as a radio mechanic and operator in Newfoundland.
After his discharge in December 1954, he worked at Bendix Radio in Towson. In the evenings he attended classes at the Johns Hopkins University and in 1964 graduated with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. He later earned a master's degree in administration from the George Washington University.
In 1967, Mr. Callahan joined the former Edgewood Arsenal, the military's center for chemical weapons research and training that later became part of the Aberdeen Proving Ground.
During his career, he worked on projects ranging from smoke-grenade launchers to the Fox NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle, a mobile laboratory designed to analyze air, water, and soil samples for signs of chemical and biological weapons.
During the Persian Gulf war in 1991, Mr. Callahan flew to Germany to help deploy the six-wheeled Fox on the battlefield. He retired from the proving ground in 1996.
In his spare time, Mr. Callahan was an avid softball player, playing in fast- and slow-pitch leagues around the area.
A funeral Mass was celebrated yesterday at St. Mark's Church in Fallston.
In addition to his wife of 48 years, the former Ursula Denmead Aiken, Mr. Callahan is survived by four daughters, Eleanor Smith of Reston, Va.; Elizabeth Markline of Aberdeen; Ursula Dodson and Maureen Brown, both of Abingdon; and 11 grandchildren.