Teleservices expert Benny Callahan passes away

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Much-respected teleservices professional Benjamin "Benny" Franklin Callahan III passed away Jan. 9 at 7 a.m. at Northeast Medical Center. He was 49.

A native of Concord, NC, Mr. Callahan was vice president of sales at The Resource Group/Telespectrum. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church, a sports enthusiast and an active member of the American Teleservices Association.

"Benny was a common attendee at our ATA's national events for over the last 15 years," said Thomas M. Rocca, past chairman and secretary of the ATA and president of KPI Group LLC, Kennesaw, GA. "He was a frequent exhibitor, an active attendee and a delightful face around all our ATA networking and golf events.

"Benny, being nearly 6 foot 7 inches, was someone that we all looked up to and his personality was extremely friendly and loving," he said. "Benny was the ultimate class of a salesman, a phenomenal relationship liaison and that key guy that brought us all together and kept us connected. He was loved by all, and we ATA folks knew we were at the right place, because we could see Benny standing high through the ATA crowd."

Survivors include wife Robin Benson Callahan, daughter Caylan Noelle Callahan, son Denver Adair Callahan, brother James Newton Callahan of Dobson, NC, and two half-sisters, Susan Atkins and Amanda Lichvar of Mt. Airy.

His two golden retrievers, Kemper and Kobie, were considered special family members, too.

Mr. Callahan was born on May 19, 1957, in Surry County to the late Benjamin Franklin Callahan Jr. and Maude O'dell Martin Callahan Simmons.

Instead of flowers, the Callahan family requests that memorial contributions be made in Mr. Callahan's name to Southeastern Guide Dogs, 4210 77th St., East, Palmetto, Florida 34221 Attn: Kathy Becker.

The Southeastern Guide Dogs is an organization that trains golden retrievers and labs as guide dogs to help disabled people in the Concord, NC, area. The association also breeds golden retrievers and labs, and crossbreeds them to train as guide dogs - a subject dear to the Callahan family.

Another area of deep interest to Mr. Callahan was golf. Mr. Rocca can attest to that commitment.

"At our ATA golf tournaments he owned the longest drive contest, and now his drives will be remember forever," Mr. Rocca said. "Benny, my best bud! My golf partner and conference sidekick for over 18 years! We have had a lot of fun memories and we needed to have many more! The ATA will miss you, Benny!

Mr. Callahan was in declining health, but his sudden passing was not expected.

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