Barbara Callander Davis, 73, of Amarillo, Texas passed away on March 11, 2020.
She was born on January 21, 1947, in the District of Columbia to Ronald Charlton Callander and Janet Edith Hale Callander. She grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, attended public elementary school and then St. Agnes School, a private Episcopal girls school, graduating in 1965. She then attended Vanderbilt University and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 1969.
Barbara was a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority at Vanderbilt. She met her future husband, best friend, and love of her life, Richard (Dick) Houstoun Davis of Houston, Texas, on a blind date during their sophomore year. He took her to Vanderbilt basketball games, which led to her becoming a lifelong fan of both men’s and women’s college basketball, especially March Madness. After graduation, they were married in Alexandria on July 12, 1969.
After the wedding, they lived in Atlanta, Georgia, where she became a Registered Nurse and worked as a Public Health Nurse for the Dekalb County Health Department. Their first child, a son, Richard, was born in Atlanta. They moved briefly to Houston and then to Amarillo, where her husband worked for the City of Amarillo. She also worked for the Amarillo City Health Department as a public health nurse. After the birth of their second child, a daughter, Cary, she worked for several years as the Head Nurse of the Texas Tech Pediatric Clinic in Amarillo.
Barbara was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church and an active member of St. Andrew’s, St. Philip’s and St Peter’s Episcopal Churches in Amarillo, where she served on the Vestry and was Senior Warden. She was active in the Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas and served on and was President of its Bishop Quarterman Conference Center board for many years. She will also be remembered as the unofficial hostess, several times, of the Diocesan deputation that attended the General Convention of the Episcopal Church.
She volunteered as a band parent for each of her children in middle school and at Amarillo High School. She served on the board of the Amarillo Children’s Home for many years, including a term as President. She and her husband were members of the Amarillo Country Club, Amarillo Club, Amarillo Opera and Amarillo Symphony.
Barbara and Dick traveled extensively in the United States, British Isles and Europe. Her favorite beach resort was Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands, where she sat on the beach and read while her husband and children scuba dived. Many vacations were taken there, including at the Millenium and their son’s wedding. They also loved small ship cruising. Over the years, they cruised the Caribbean, Tahiti, Atlantic Ocean crossings, Panama Canal, the Baltic, Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.
Learning about and enjoying opera was something that started in 1993 after attending a one-week seminar that occurred during the Santa Fe Opera season. She and Dick attended the seminar annually until 2018. She said it was like coming back to an adult summer camp, because many of the same people came back year after year. This interest led to seeing productions at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and being season ticket holders at the Dallas, Amarillo and Santa Fe Operas. She was interested in supporting the Apprentice Program, especially the young singers.
However, the biggest joy in her life was her family, which included her husband’s. She especially loved her “bouquet” of four granddaughters. Family gatherings are frequent both in Dick’s family and in hers. Over the years she delighted in annual family reunions in Houston at Thanksgiving, and several trips with her brother and his family from Colorado to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
She was looking forward to continued travel, activities, and time with family after a knee replacement operation. Unfortunately, serious complications arose during the operation, and despite the extraordinary efforts of the doctors and nurses, she was unable to recover. Her family was fortunate to be with her at the end, since the hospital was closed to visitors five days later due to Covid 19.
She is survived by her husband; their son Richard Davis, Jr., his wife Jessica and their children Caroline and Olivia of Sharon, Connecticut; their daughter Cary Gren and her children Lillian and Annabelle of Santa Barbara, California; her brother Robert “Spike” Callander and wife Mary of Ashburn, Virginia; a cousin Hal Evans of Charlevoix, Michigan; a cousin Steve Hale of Tucson, Arizona; and several nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews.
Due to the coronavirus, no date for a memorial service and inurnment has been set. Hopefully, it will be possible in the spring of 2021. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Singers Program (The Santa Fe Opera, P.O. Box 2408, Santa Fe, NM 87504), St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (1601 S. Georgia, Amarillo, Texas 79102), or a favorite charity.