Obituaries

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Patricia Gilliespie Calvin

1927 2022

Because of the resurgence of COVID, no formal service or funeral is planned, for the safety of all she loved.

In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Fort Worth Sisters of St. Mary of Namur (www.ssmnwestern.org/contribute). And she would love it if everyone stays safe, politically informed, and exercises their right to vote in every election.

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Patricia Ellen Gillespie Calvin died on January 5, 2022.

Pat grew up and spent most of her life in Fort Worth. She attended Our Lady of Victory (at that time a high school), then earned a BA and MA in English at TCU. She was a librarian and a post-graduate instructor at SMU. Inspired by her loving parents and her dedicated teachers, the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, Pat valued education throughout her life.

Pat married Clarence “Cal” Calvin, in 1950. They raised three children together. Pat was a volunteer at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in areas such as writing for The Fisherman newsletter, doing annulment work, serving as president of the National Council of Catholic Women, and helping as asked. She also pursued her own hobbies with joy and self-deprecating humor: painting watercolor irises, working as a docent at Amon Carter museum, grappling with the New York Times Sunday crossword, reading A.E. Housman’s poetry, and hosting bridge parties. Her unyielding positivity and vitality for life was inspired by one of her favorite books, Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl. She gifted this book and many of her paintings when she saw an opportunity to cheer on her friends and raise spirits.

After retirement, she and Cal traveled to Europe, enjoying their time as senior citizens living on college campuses as part of the Elder Hostel continuing education program. She enjoyed staying up to the minute with current events, particularly politics. She wanted to “stay alive long enough to vote in 2020” & experienced elation the day she did. She was passionate about social justice.

She was always direct, sometimes outspoken. She had a loving heart dedicated to her family. Pat spent hours cooking in her kitchen & fed anyone who showed up. She had two portion sizes – too much and way too much. Family and friends appreciated her home cooked meals, warm conversation and the joy and comfort of her home. Multiple TVs were tuned to the Ranger game and CNN, the kitchen burner flames were turned up too high, and the AC could never keep up with the hubbub. Through it all, Cal often said one of Pat’s greatest attributes was having a wonderful sense of humor about herself.

She leaves behind three children, Samuel, Daniel and Mary Ellen. Sam has two children, Rachel Whitehead (husband John, and son Alex) and Paul Calvin (wife Helen, and children Beau and Benjamin). Dan and wife Susan Elizabeth née Benavides have two sons, Andrew Calvin and Geoffrey Calvin. Mary Ellen Coogan and husband John Coogan, have three daughters, Patricia Coogan (and partner Luke Bartos), Claire Julian (and husband Matt) and Joanna Coogan.

Pat was preceded in death by beloved husband, Cal. Loved ones know that Pat and Cal are finally holding the newborn they lost after only a week on this earth, James Loran Calvin. We look forward to the joy of seeing everyone reunited later. And this time, she won’t have to cook.