Edward & Shirley Calahan are philanthropists and founders of the Calahan Foundation, a non-profit organization 501(c)3 created in 2009 to inspire youth through educational scholarships, contemporary role models, entrepreneurial mentorship, and economic empowerment programs.  Governed by an Advisory Board, each year the “Celebration of Giving Benefit Concert” brings together over 2,000 guests raising funds for annual scholarship awards to low-income high school students in the inner city communities. Scholarship recipients attend college as well as some of the top universities across the United States. Gift donations also help ten (10) local housing shelters they have adopted providing basic needs for homeless individuals and serving over 5,000 needy families, coats in the winter and toys for tots. Each year the Calahan Foundation hosts an annual benefit concert in December receiving donations throughout the year for these purposes.


The Calahan's are also Chicago’s trusted voices on marriage and keynote speakers on business.  With over 34 years of marriage, 32 years in business, recipients of numerous humanitarian awards, and both born and married on the same day (i.e. July 19), the Calahan's have established themselves as a brand in assuring compassionate, quality care in funeral, cremation and memorial servicing.  As a young entrepreneur, Edward Calahan had a vision of owning his own funeral business, obtained a degree in Mortuary Science from Worsham College in Wheeling, IL, and established the Calahan Funeral Home in 1983, a pillar of leadership in the Englewood community located at 7030 S. Halsted, Chicago, IL.  In just a few years, Shirley being an organizer, technical writer, and former banker, joined the family owned business as the Executive Director to the President (her husband), and obtained her degree naturally from the same college.  Both are licensed Illinois Funeral Directors and Embalmers. In 2007 they began a second generation business in Brinkley Arkansas, the McNeal-Calahan Funeral Home.  Since their inceptions, both businesses have made their mark and experienced greater-than-anticipated demand for its funeral arrangement services, “pre-need” planning, bereavement etiquette, funeral education, and as expert practitioners in providing large, high-profile funerals.  Over the years, the Calahan's have created over 400 jobs and mentored more than 250 mortuary science students and Entre-Morticians interested in the funeral business.

​the Calahan foundation, nfp

Edward & Shirley Calahan

About the Calahan Foundation