Obituary of Stephen Andy Callen
Stephen Andy Callen passed away Tuesday December 5th at Mon General Hospital. He was born January 26, 1925 in New Salem, Pennsylvania, the youngest son of Francishek Cudzilo and Katarzyna (Dubaj) Cudzilo, polish immigrants. He was very proud of his Polish ancestry and was able to read and speak Polish fluently his entire life.
Steve Callen grew up on a farm located near the present Nemacolin Woodlands. He was graduated from Uniontown High School in 1943, six months early, so he could enlist as soon as he turned 18. He had never been out of Fayette County before entering the military, except to go to Bruceton Mills occasionally for farm supplies.
Growing up in an isolated rural area with immigrant parents who spoke broken English, Steve knew very little about the United States until he joined the Army Air Corps after graduation. He traveled around the United States during training as a gunner on a B29 bomber. He also got to see Hawaii and various Pacific Islands as his aircraft was assigned to the Pacific theatre and flew numerous bombing missions against Japan.
After the war he attended WVU on the GI bill where he met his future wife, Mary Virginia Biafora. Both Steve and Mary graduated with bachelors and master’s degrees in education. Steve started out teaching in a one room school house near Bruceton Mills and later taught at UHS and WVU.
On April 1st, 1958 Steve took over operation of what was then called the Morgantown Business College. It had 47 students, 2 teachers and 3 classrooms located above the old Communtzi restaurant on High street. He had a knack for the school business and eventually acquired seven campuses in West Virginia, making him by far the largest operator of secretarial schools in the 50’s and 60’s. By the early 1980’s campuses were added in Florida and later Pennsylvania and Ohio. He was the driving force behind the organization and his leadership was respected by all. He remained active in the business his entire life, giving advice to the next two generations of his family as they took over operations of the campuses after his retirement.
Besides the career training field, Steve loved the outdoors, his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Steve’s work ethic, professionalism, and success were an inspiration to his entire family. His success from humble beginnings was respected throughout the community.
Besides his parents, Steve Callen was predeceased by one sister, numerous brothers, and his wife of 68 years, Mary. He is survived by four children, Stephen J. Callen and wife Lori, Michal K. Callen and wife Cheryl, Annette Howard and husband Bret, and Sharon Rhoads and husband Ron; 17 grandchildren, Stephen C. Callen, Jacob G. Callen and wife Courtney, Kayla Strimel, Mariah Callen, Melissa A. Carlucci and husband Art, Michael J. Callen and wife Ashley, Chad T. Callen and wife Brittany, Ashley Tomaszewski and husband Johnathan, Brandy Rachel, Ali Rachel, Jillian Rachel, Zach Rachel, Ashley Rhoads, Austin Rhoads, Parker Rhoads, Faith Rhoads, Destiny Rhoads, and two great grandchildren Madison Carlucci and Brandon Carlucci.
The family wishes to publicly recognize and thank Doctor Vincent Kolanko, Doctor Michael O’Keefe, and Hillary Clovis for the compassionate care they provided to Dad for over a decade. Their significant contributions helped Dad enjoy a high quality of life and a long life.
Friends and family will be received at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Parish, 1 Guthrie Lane from 1-3pm and 5-8pm Monday, December 11th. Visitation will resume at 9am Tuesday, December 12th. Mass will begin at 10am with Msgr. Anthony Cincinnati, STD, VE and Father John V. DiBacco as concelebrants.
In leu of flowers, donations may be made to the Stephen A. Callen Memorial Scholarship at St. Francis Central Catholic School, 41 Guthrie Lane, Morgantown, WV 26508.