Obituary for Debra Calderwood (Banks)
Etna - Debra Lou Banks Calderwood died tragically in a car accident on Friday, August 4, 2017 in Etna, Maine. Debra was born July 2, 1944 in Quincy Massachusetts, the daughter of William and Thelma (Garnett) Banks.
After graduating from Westbrook High School in 1962, Debra received her certificate of nursing from Maine Medical Center in Portland in 1965. She then joined the United States Air Force in 1966 as a nurse, ranking a lieutenant when she finished her service.
She met her future husband, John Calderwood, at Savannah Speedway while stationed in Savannah Georgia. After a whirlwind courtship, they were married and had three children and four grandchildren over their nearly 51 years of marriage.
After the family moved to Maine, Debra continued her career, always in the nursing field. She worked as an E.R. nurse, office nurse, supervisor of nurses at Bangor Mental Health for many years and was working at the S.T.A.R.S. program at BMHI when she retired. During her working career, she also helped on the family farm breeding and training Paso Fino horses for competition and pleasure.
After her retirement, Debra was able to devote more of her time to her family and the causes she supported. She loved to attend her grandchildren’s concerts, ball games and school activities.
Debra loved to travel. From early in her marriage tenting and hunting with her husband John to driving across the country in a motor home after retirement, Debra was an amazing woman who had an adventurous spirit. She hiked Mt. Katahdin more than once. She loved to read, do crossword puzzles and knit. Debra was a great cook and candy maker. Her needhams were the best! She enjoyed being outdoors and spent many hours tending to flower gardens, vegetable gardens and her chickens, her "girls". She loved beachcombing, boat rides, fishing, NASCAR and spending time with her family at the pond.
Debra had a strong faith in her God and was always giving of her time to others. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her and whose lives she touched in some way. Be it with her volunteer work at the homeless shelter, as a lay speaker in her church, cooking the beans for church suppers or making sure that any child that spent Christmas or Easter at the Spruce Run Women’s Shelter received a Christmas stocking or Easter basket.
She will be terribly missed by her family, her husband John; daughter, Theresa Brown; sons, John Warren Calderwood and Nathan Calderwood and his wife, Laura; her grandchildren, Joel Hatt, Taylor Harris, Owen Brown, and Ian Calderwood. She is also survived by her brother, Wayne Banks; many nieces, nephews and her beloved dog Chummy.
Friends are welcome to join the family at a service celebrating Debra's life, 1:00 p.m. Saturday, August 12, 2017 at Ellingwoods Corner United Methodist Church, 796 Lebanon Rd, Winterport. If you would like to make a donation in Debra's remembrance, her favorite causes were the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, 263 Main Street, Bangor, Maine 04401 and Partners for Peace (formerly Spruce Run-Womancare Alliance) P.O. Box 653 Bangor, Maine 04402-0653. Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com