Services are set for Saturday for Dr. Dan Callahan, a World War II medic who became a doctor and created the pro-military acronym EDIMGIAFAD.
Callahan, 95, died Saturday under hospice care in Perry, said Warner Robins Councilman Chuck Shaheen.
“He was like a father to me,” Shaheen said. “It’s just sad that we’ve got the greatest generation passing every day.”
An ambassador for the city, Callahan created the acronym EDIMGIAFAD, which originally stood for Every Day in Middle Georgia is Air Force Appreciation Day. It later became Every Day in Middle Georgia is Armed Forces Appreciation Day.
The acronym is the official motto of Warner Robins and an important part of Houston County’s identity. Locals delight in being asked by visitors what it stands for. It is spelled out in shrubbery on a hill alongside Watson Boulevard. Earlier this year the county had it painted in giant letters on the stem of a water tower on Ga. 96.
Shaheen said Callahan was also instrumental in starting Happy Hour Service Center, which provides employment for the developmentally disabled.
At Tuesday’s Houston County Commission meeting, Chairman Tommy Stalnaker extended his condolences to Callahan’s family.
“Dr. Callahan has been a fixture in this community for a long time,” Stalnaker said. “He will be missed and he has done an awful lot.”
A native Georgian, Callahan graduated from Taylor County High School, then Emory University and The Medical College of Georgia. He practiced family medicine for more than five decades in Georgia and was one of the earliest doctors to practice in Warner Robins.
An Army veteran, Callahan served in the Army Medical Department during World War II and the Philippine liberation campaign. Later, he volunteered as a physician during the Vietnam War. For his service during Vietnam, he was awarded citations from the State Department, the Republic of Vietnam and the American Medical Association.
A staunch supporter of Robins Air Force Base, he received the Exceptional Service Medal from the Air Force and, in 1991, was named the Warner Robins ALC Citizen of The Year. Actively involved for many years in the Air Force Association, he was Southeast Regional vice president and was also the association's national director emeritus.
He sat on the board of directors of many organizations, including the Museum of Aviation, the Houston County/Middle Georgia Red Cross, the Warner Robins Area Chamber of Commerce and the Houston County Association for Exceptional Citizens. He was a member of the Rotary Club for almost 60 years and a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Survivors include his wife, Alicia, three sons, three stepsons and a brother.
McCullough Funeral Home has charge of arrangements. Visitation with the family will be from 6-8 p.m. Friday at McCullough. The funeral Mass for Callahan will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.