Jarold Callahan

Jarold Callahan

Jarold Eldon Callahan of Edmond, OK passed away December 23, 2023.

Jarold was born September 17, 1954, to Joe and Maxine (Spurgeon) Callahan, who instilled in him commitment to family, work ethic, and integrity. He grew up on a diversified family farm and cattle operation northwest of Welch, OK. As a youth, his passion for farming and ranching was evident as he was driving a tractor as soon as (or maybe before) his father would let him. He attended Welch High School, where he excelled at academics, livestock judging and basketball (although he probably wouldn’t have ranked it in that order). He continued his livestock judging career at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M where he received his associate’s degree in 1974. He later went on to receive a B.S. degree in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University where he was a member of the 1975 OSU Livestock Judging team and graduated as one of the Top Ten Seniors in the College of Agriculture in 1976. He later received his Master’s Degree in Agriculture (Animal Science) from the University of Arkansas.

Jarold coached the Livestock Judging team at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M from 1976 to 1982, where he also served as Chair of the Agriculture Division. Jarold served as an instructor and coached the Livestock Judging team at Oklahoma State University from 1982 to 1991, where he was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1990. He impacted the lives of many students through his coaching in his time at both institutions and he later served on The Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents. During his tenure at NEO and OSU he was blessed to coach, advise and mentor many talented young students and build life-long relationships as those students became friends, and colleagues

Jarold served as the Executive Vice President of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association from 1991 to 1995. A life-long learner, Jarold’s time at the OCA found him exploring new roles as an advocate for the beef cattle industry.

He became President of Express Ranches, one of the largest purebred cattle operations in the world, from 1996 to 2023. Bob Funk and Express Ranches gave Jarold the opportunity to innovate and help shape the future of the purebred beef cattle industry. He was truly thankful to be a part of such a talented, loyal, and dedicated team.

Jarold’s many accomplishments and contributions were most recently recognized by being selected as the 2023 inductee to the Saddle & Sirloin Portrait Gallery.

Jarold dedicated his whole life to being a loyal, hard-working, and generous person- who prioritized his family, friends, education, and beef cattle improvement. He loved Oklahoma, OSU, cattle, his wife and partner Jennifer, and his family. Of all of Jarold’s accomplishments, he was most proud of his children Brian, Tracie, and Ryan.

He was preceded in death by his father, Joe E. Callahan in 2015, and his grandparents.

The surviving family includes, his wife Jennifer Callahan of the home, his mother, Maxine Callahan of Welch, his children, Brian Callahan and wife Angie of Dallas, Texas, Tracie Poage and husband Lenny of Yukon, Oklahoma, Ryan Callahan and girlfriend, Taylor Gazda of Edmond, his brother Tommy Callahan and wife Sherri of Welch, sisters, Linda Hogan and husband Leon of Tulsa, Shirley Cunningham and husband Gene of Pittsburg, Kansas, Nancy Callahan of Stillwater, five grandchildren, Michael, Kathryn, and Jake Callahan, Cody, Sydney, and Bryce Poage.

The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. at the Burckhalter-Highsmith Funeral Home Chapel in Vinita on Wednesday, December 27, 2023.

The Celebration of life will be held on Friday, December 29, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, at 1700 Northeast 63rd Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73111.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Jarold Callahan Memorial Fund, a Lasting Legacy established with Cattlemen’s Congress with the designation Callahan Memorial Fund. Contributions can be mailed to: Cattlemen’s Congress, Attention: Kass Newell, 21 Land Rush St, Oklahoma City, OK 73107. Arrangements are in the care of the Burckhalter-Highsmith Funeral and Cremation Services, 201 N Wilson St., Vinita, OK 74301. Phone 918-256-6444.