Genevieve Britt Caldwell, 98, of Amarillo, passed away peacefully at home with family and caregivers on February 7, 2020.
Visitation will be from 6-7:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at Schooler Funeral Home, 4100 S. Georgia St. Memorial service will be at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, February 13, 2020, at Polk Street United Methodist Church, 1401 S. Polk St. Private family interment will be in Llano Cemetery. Arrangements are by Schooler Funeral Home.
Mrs. Caldwell was born July 24, 1921, on the Britt Ranch east of Wheeler, TX, to Thomas M. and Vera B. Britt. She attended a one-room rock school house, now on the National Register of Historic Places, located on the ranch. After 8th grade, she went to and graduated from Kelton High School. She attended Hendrix College in Conway, AR, for one year before transferring to Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX, where several family members including her mother had gone. She was a member of Alpha Delta Pi and graduated with honors in 1942 with a degree in English.
After returning home for several months, she moved to a boarding house in Amarillo to try to find a job helping with the war effort. She was hired to work in the payroll department of the newly constructed Pantex Ordnance Plant. During this time and on a blind date, she met the love of her life, Navy Lt. T.M. “Red” Caldwell, Jr. of Amarillo. After his 15 month tour of duty in the Pacific Theater as a torpedo bomber pilot aboard the USS Princeton, Lt. Caldwell returned home in April of 1944 and the couple married on May 4, 1944, at the Britt Ranch. Genevieve accompanied Red on several more duty assignments stateside until his Honorable Discharge in 1945 from Kingsville NAS.
Genevieve and Red moved to Amarillo in 1946 and subsequently to Clarendon in 1949 for Red’s saddlemaking business. Genevieve was a dedicated homemaker for Red and her two children. She was a devout Christian and very active in the First United Methodist Church. She loved children and taught Sunday School to preschoolers for many years as well as singing in the choir for almost 50 years with her beautiful voice. The couple moved to Amarillo in 1997, a few years after Red’s retirement from Chamberlain Motor Company. They rejoined Polk Street United Methodist Church where they had been after the war. They were very involved members until Red’s illness in 2009.
Genevieve and Red were very active in the community, especially Amarillo. She gave generously of her time and resources to numerous civic, artistic and charitable organizations. She was a great advocate for the Panhandle and its people. She was also very dedicated to Southwestern University where she was awarded Distinguished Alumna of the Year in 1981 and served 12 years on the Board of Trustees. Over the years, Genevieve recruited more than 135 students from this area to attend Southwestern University. She and Red were awarded the first Southwestern University Medal for Outstanding Contributions in 1999. In 2007, one of the new residence halls was named after her.
It cannot be overstated how involved Genevieve was in the community for many years. She was recognized for her philanthropy and outstanding support by numerous organizations and served on the boards of many including the Amarillo Symphony and Guild, The Lone Star Ballet, Amarillo Opera and Amarillo Museum of Art to name a few. She was a Founding Board Member of the Harrington Cancer Center Circle of Friends. She was recognized for Philanthropy by the Amarillo College Foundation and received the Community Service Award of Alpha Phi Omega, the Texas Panhandle Award for Distinguished Service from West Texas State University, a Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure Award, Outstanding Philanthropy Award of the Texas Plains Chapter of Fundraising Professionals and a Golden Nail Award for Extraordinary Support of the Fine Arts. She was a generous donor to both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America as well as many other worthy causes. One of her proudest achievements was in 2007 when she received the Pioneer Spirit Award from the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society.
Genevieve and Red were a delightful and gracious couple with many friends and acquaintances. They truly enjoyed engaging with others and attended many social events over the years. They loved to travel and touched on every continent except Antarctica. In keeping with her faith, she made 3 trips to the Holy Land. She was a wonderful and loving mother, grandmother and aunt who went out of her way to encourage and support her family members.
Mrs. Caldwell is preceded in death by her parents, her brother and her husband of 66 years who sadly passed away in 2010.
Genevieve is survived by her daughter, Mary Louise Nahon and husband Michael C. of New York City; son, Dr. Turner M. Caldwell III and wife Trina of Amarillo; granddaughters and great grandchildren, Dorothy G. Caldwell, her husband David E. Abeyta and son Owen C. Abeyta of Austin; Margaret C. “Maggie” Savage, her husband John M. and children Amelia J. and Emmett C. Savage; her sister, Louise B. Carvey of Ft. Worth; and sister-in-law, Paula B. Britt of Amarillo as well as a number of nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank BSA Hospice of the Southwest for their wonderful care in her last few years as well as the loving home caregivers, especially Hazel Link who was with the family over 10 years, helping first with Red and then Genevieve.
Genevieve B. Caldwell was a loving, gentle, kind, thoughtful, uplifting and dedicated lady. She was always optimistic, looking for the best in everyone and living a truly exemplary life. She was an outstandingly generous member of the community and will be greatly missed by her family, friends and those who knew her.