Face to Face: Tonganoxie deputy fire chief John Callaghan
Name: John Callaghan
Born: Kansas City, Kan.
Family: Parents Pat and Bernie, Kansas City, Kan.; wife, Sheila; stepson, Jake, 23, Kansas City, Kan.; Zach, 17, Tonganoxie High School senior; and MaKayla, 15, THS sophomore.
Occupation: Deputy fire chief at Tonganoxie Fire Department.
Dream job as a child: Park ranger or veterinarian.
Digging deeper: Callaghan graduated from Bishop Ward High School in 1980. From there, he attended Kansas City Kansas Community College.
“That just didn’t interest me, so I went into the work force,” Callaghan said.
Callaghan worked for two years managing his parents’ bowling alley in KCK. He then worked for 15 years in the beverage business.
In 1989, he started as a volunteer with the Tonganoxie Township Fire Department. That’s when he moved to the Tonganoxie area.
“I wanted to get out to a rural area,” Callaghan said, noting that he had lived long enough in the city.
“I call Tonganoxie my hometown now,” he said.
He said the family has various things on their land, including “rabbits, chickens, geese and ducks and kids and weeds.”
He admitted that the latter two grow way too fast.
Zach has become very involved in the Tonganoxie FFA chapter. Formerly known by its full name of Future Farmers of America, FFA also has an alumni chapter.
The FFA Alumni organization is open to anyone who wants to join and Callaghan has been pretty involved even though he wasn’t in FFA or didn’t grow up with any agriculture influences.
Callaghan stays busy with part-time work with Tonganoxie business Wirenuts as well. And, he has a history of working in the auctioneer business.
Though his spare time is limited, Callaghan likes to fish and hunt when he can, especially a family hunting trip that usually happens once a year.
He also follows the Royals and Chiefs, along with Kansas University and Kansas State University athletics, but is a casual fan.
“It’s not gonna kill me if I miss a game or a NASCAR race,” he said.