ABILENE, TEXAS — Etha Mae Caswell, 94, passed away Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, at Landsun Homes Health Service Center in Carlsbad. Visitation will be 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, at Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home, 542 Hickory, in Abilene, Texas. Services will be 11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Abilene, with Dr. Eduardo Rivera officiating. Burial will follow in Elmwood Memorial Park Cemetery, directed by Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home, Abilene.
Etha Mae Sherrill was born to John and Myrtle (Porterfield) Sherrill on Oct. 8, 1918, in Rising Star, Texas, the fifth of eight children. They moved from Rising Star to Draw, Texas, when she was a small girl. She attended Grades 1-11 at Draw, graduating from O’Donnell High School in 1938, where she was class secretary/treasurer. After graduation, Etha Mae attended Draughon’s Business School in Lubbock, Texas, for three semesters. By her own admission, she learned enough there to know that she would be a better preacher’s wife than a secretary. She married Bervin Caswell, her childhood sweetheart on June 5, 1938, at her parents’ home in Draw. They moved immediately to Dallas where Bervin attended Perkin’s School of Theology at SMU. From there they began 44 years of ministry in the Methodist Church, serving churches in New Mexico, Oklahoma and West Texas. Etha Mae was a devoted wife and a dedicated helpmate in all aspects of their ministry. They retired in 1984 from Roswell, N.M., and began their retirement years in Abilene where they were active in St. Paul United Methodist Church.
Etha Mae was an excellent cook to the delight of her family and friends, one of whom said: “Blessed is the person who eats at Etha Mae’s table.” She enjoyed sewing, quilting and tending her house plants; she was an avid domino and Spinner player. She was an active member of Women’s Society of Christian Services in each of their pastorates in addition to teaching a Sunday school class. She was a member of PEO.
Etha Mae was a kind and gentle spirit with a quiet sense of humor. She loved her family and the life she was blessed to have. She is loved dearly by her family and her many friends. She will be missed.
Etha Mae was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Bervin; her oldest son James; and by four brothers and one sister. She is survived by her sons, Leonard and his wife Kathy, of Carlsbad and Jon and his wife Linda, of Dallas; by her daughter Karen Caswell, of Carlsbad; and daughter-in-law Jackie Caswell, of Dallas; six grandchildren, Angie Secrest, Jim Caswell, Toni Clark, Ben Caswell, Shannon Caswell and Joshua Caswell and by thirteen great-grandchildren; her sister Bea Brown and her brother Paul Sherrill; sister-in-law Fern Barnes; brother-in-law Noel Caswell; and by numerous nieces and nephews.
Etha Mae’s grandchildren, Angie, Jim, Toni, Ben, Shannon, and Joshua, will serve as pallbearers for her service.
There will be a memorial service at the Otto Chapel at Landsun Homes in Carlsbad at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Landsun Homes Caring Hands Fund, 2002 Westridge Road, Carlsbad NM 88220 or to the Dr. Jim Caswell Endowment for Leadership Development and Training, SMU, P.O. Box 750471, Dallas TX 75275 or to a charity of your choosing.
You may view and sign the guestbook at elliotthamilfuneralhome.com.