Statement on the Passing of Ann Callahan

SPRINGFIELD — Late last night, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) was with her mother, Ann Callahan, when she passed away. Mrs. Callahan was 89 years old, wife to the late Gene Callahan, the longtime chief of staff to former U.S. Sen. Alan J. Dixon, D-Ill.; the mother of three; grandmother of seven; and great grandmother of five.

Ann Callahan’s obituary can be found below:

Ann Callahan, a perpetual optimist who saw the good in everyone, died Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, at her home in Springfield. She was 89. 

She was the wife of the late Gene Callahan and the mother of three: the late Dan Callahan (Stacy) of Carterville; Lynn Callahan Riddley (Al) of Springfield; and Cheri Callahan Bustos (Gerry) of the Quad-Cities. She had seven grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. 

Antoinette Lorraine Hammond was born on June 23, 1933, in Ithaca, New York. She was adopted at birth. She was raised by a single mother, Frieda Gregory Hammond, who was a nurse at Ithaca Gun Co. Her mother stressed the importance of education for Ann and her sister, Willie  Hammond Piper. 

Ann left Ithaca to attend Illinois College in 1951, where she met Gene, the son of a Milford, Ill., hog farmer. After both graduated, Gene served in the Army for two years, and Ann moved to Springfield to be a social worker, helping children through Illinois Child Welfare Services. 

She and Gene married in 1957. Ann would go on to work for many years at the Gingerbread House, a preschool on Parkview Drive in Springfield, with her longtime friend, Edith Raven. Later, she worked as a social worker at St. John’s Hospital. 

She would be ready at any time and any day with food (and drinks) for neighbors, Gene’s friends and her kids’ friends who stopped by their former home at 58 Meadowlark Lane in Springfield. Those friends loved her. They called her St. Ann. 

She was nice to EVERYONE. She wasn’t a gossip or petty. If someone was rude or mean, Ann would tell her children that they could learn from that person how not to be. She loved kids, animals and harmony. 

The family will hold a private service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ann’s name to Washington Park in Springfield, where a park bench in her honor will be placed. Please send your donation to Springfield Parks Foundation, attention Stephen Flesch, 2500 S. 11th St., Springfield, IL., 62703. Please designate the memorial to the Ann Callahan bench. To donate online, go to

Lastly, as a lover of our state, nation and of democracy, she would remind you to please vote.

The family is being served by Butler Funeral Home – Springfield, 900 S. Sixth St., Springfield, IL 62703. Please visit to offer your condolences.