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John J. Callarik wore many hats in his lifetime. U.S. Army and coal mine helmets. Ones emblazoned with the logos of his many small businesses. Black and blue sports caps of his beloved Bridgeport High School where he served as on the school board for fourteen years. He was often seen wearing political hats for candidates that he supported and served in leadership roles with the Belmont County Democratic Committee. He took great pride in his hat that bore his well-known nickname, “Mayor”, a position he held in the Village of Bridgeport for eighteen years.
John often wore his WW II Veterans insignia hats, and his pride and joy, a commemorative hat from his induction into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame, Class of 2021.
While his hats literally represented his life’s work, he had many other figurative hats that represented his life’s loves..his family and friends.
John and the love of his life, Della Mae Callarik (Minehart) were married in the rectory of St. Anthony’s of Padau Roman Catholic Church in Bridgeport on May 21, 1949. John was late, but Della patiently waited for her blue-eyed man. John finally arrived with a cut, bandaged finger as the reason for his delay. Della married him anyway. They had four children. John Robert Callarik (b. 1950-d. 2022); Shirleann Murad (Jim); Sandra Ruth Davis (Gerald); Bruce J. Callarik, and daughter in law Jonni Lynn O’Grady Callarik. He also had two special friends in his widowhood Michele Vinci and Marilou Criswell.
Over the years, John and Della’s family grew by leaps and bounds as grandchildren began to arrive starting with Casey (Carrie) Callarik, Stacey Callarik, Brandi Callarik, Ashlynn Callarik, Allison Montgomery (Greg), Mikida Clegg (Willie), Maclaine Murad, Jessica Davis, Keith Davis, Erin Alldredge (Derek), Curtis Kelly, Gerald Davis, Jr. (Melissa) and was blessed with sixteen great grandchildren.
John Callarik leaves behind a legacy of hard work, love of family, a multitude of friends and a deep faith. He has passed into Eternity where there is no more pain, no more darkness, and no more disease.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, from 1-8pm at the Wilson Funeral Home, 920 National Rd., Brookside. Full Military Honors will be presented on Thursday, March 30th at 9: 15am at the funeral home; Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, 630 Main St., Bridgeport, OH 43912, with Fr. John Mucha officiating. Burial to follow at Greenwood Cemetery, 1526 National Rd., Wheeling, WV 26003.
To leave on-line condolences please visit www.wilsonfuneralhomes.com.
In lieu of flowers, please consider monetary gifts to either:
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
4550 Montgomery Avenue
Suite 1100 North
Bethesda, MD. 20814
American Diabetes Association
P.O. Box 7023
Merrifield, VA 22116