Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Fearless Female Gwendolyn Imogene "Jean" Soward Metcalfe, 1924-2006

Jean Metcalfe's grave marker at Austin Memorial Park Cemetery - used with permission from Robert Sage via FindAGrave.com
The following is from an obituary posted in a message board:

Jean Metcalfe: "Lithe of form and fair of face, a loving heart with endearing grace!"

Gwendolyn Imogene (Soward) Metcalfe was born in Robstown, Texas on 25 August 1924, and departed this world on 19 January 2006. Throughout life her primary focus consistently was on being a recognizable Christian, a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great- grandmother. A devoted husband, four daughters (including a pair of twins) and eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter provided opportunities.

In Robstown, Jean was a Girl Scout, and Drum Majorette at Robstown High. She was baptized in the Robstown Baptist Church, and was married there in 1944 to Ensign Tom Brooks Metcalfe of Elgin, Texas, and the U. S. Naval Reserve (Amphibious Forces, Pacific). Her experience as secretary in a defense industry during war years was of immense help in organizing all of the offices which she subsequently managed.

"A foot more light, a step more true, Ne'er from the heath-flower dash'd the dew!"

Jean held undergraduate degrees in her profession of Home Economics from the University of Texas, and from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and a Master's Degree in that field from Louisiana State University. In Lafayette, Louisiana, she served as Department Head for eighteen years at one of the largest high schools in the state. She was supervisor of student teacher training, and served on State Committees for curriculum development and for accreditation standards. She and her LSU thesis supervisor were awarded 'Best Paper' at a national meeting and later published work in a national journal. Jean was elected a member of Sigma Xi, the national society for research.

Jean was an accomplished artist, and produced numerous oil paintings of a variety of subjects, received awards for displays and was commissioned to paint a landscape for display in the new City Hall in Lafayette. She crafted an exceptional nineteen-piece porcelain Creche. Through private study, Jean qualified herself in both herbal medicine and acupressure. She relieved the suffering of many, but never as paying clients, she did everything out of the goodness of her heart. Attesting to her generous and loving nature is her PHT ("pushing hubby through") Diploma from Georgia Tech, and her designation of Honorary Cajun by the Acadienne Historical Society.

Jean incorporated architecture and interior decorating into her professional life and along with her husband, and a consulting architect, she designed their final residence in Austin and its interior decoration. In words often spoken by her husband of 61+ years, "In every way, wonderful is the word for her! Above any of these, and all of them together, there was her ability to be a wonderful and loving wife and mother."

"Born to strive........a winner!..."

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

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