John P. Callahan, 86, of Cherry Hill, an executive who directed the New Jersey division of state auditor, died Sunday, March 8, of complications from hypertension at Allegria at the Fountains, an assisted living facility in Atco.

Born and raised in North Camden, Mr. Callahan graduated from Camden Catholic High School in 1951 and what is now La Salle University in 1955. He lived in Pennsauken from 1965 to 1996, when he moved to Cherry Hill.

Mr. Callahan had aspired to a career in law and briefly attended classes at Villanova Law School before serving in the Army from 1956 to 1958.

After being honorably discharged, he married Barbara Hayes. They became members of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Merchantville.

Mr. Callahan worked as an administrator at RCA in Moorestown, then started his own recruiting business, Callahan Center for Computer Personnel, in Philadelphia.

From 1970 to 1981, he was director of the division of state auditor, working under State Auditor George B. Harper Sr. At the time, the auditor division in Trenton was overseen by New Jersey’s office of fiscal affairs.

In 1981, he left the state job to form Callahan Consulting, a mergers-and-acquisitions company based in Cherry Hill. He also worked as a consultant to the Senate minority leader on special projects for a time before retiring in the early 2000s.

A man of deep Christian faith, Mr. Callahan spent time as a volunteer, both with the state and for the Catholic church. In 2008, he chaired the Governor’s Advisory Council on Volunteerism and Community Service.

He was a founding member of South Jersey Cursillo, a religious organization that holds prayer meetings and fosters intercultural fellowship. In 1978, he helped establish the New Jersey Chapter of Kairos, a prison ministry.

For many years, Mr. Callahan collaborated with the Rev. Michael Doyle at Sacred Heart Church in Camden on projects to serve the community near the church.

Mr. Callahan also volunteered with Msgr. Michael Mannion in his work with Discovery House, an outreach organization for troubled youth in the Jersey Pine Barrens.

“He helped a lot of people,” said his son Kevin.

A regular attendee at daily Mass, he was also a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus.

In addition to his volunteer activities, Mr. Callahan enjoyed spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren at the Jersey Shore.

As a father, he was fun, his son said: “In a lot of ways he was like a big kid. He would be in the backyard pitching or on the basketball ball court playing one-on-one. With us kids, it was almost an extension of his childhood, growing up in Camden, having friends.”

His wife, a writer, died in 2009. A brother and sister also died earlier. Besides son Kevin, he is survived by children Richard, John, Paul, and Liz Nicastro; six grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

A viewing from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 13, at the Healey Funeral Home, 9 White Horse Pike, Haddon Heights, will be followed by a second viewing starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 14, at Christ Our Light Church, 402 N. Kings Highway, Cherry Hill. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday at the church. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery, Cherry Hill.

Memorial donations may be made to the Heart of Camden, 1840 Broadway Ave., Camden, N.J. 08104 or via