Published in The Capital on April 14, 2013
COLLIER, CALVA KEPHART KEPPIE
This is the day the Lord has made....let us rejoice and be glad
in it. Psalm118.24 Calva Kephart Collier "Keppie" went to be
with the Lord on April 8, 2013 after a courageous battle with
lung and bone cancer.
She is predeceased by her husband William Lee Collier. At
her Stage IV diagnosis 3 years ago, her oncologist said she
was "somewhere between a firecracker and a pistol" and that's how she lived her life. An
energizer bunny filled with gusto, contagious enthusiasm, a "can do" philosophy, eternal
optimism and an attitude of gratitude. She had a warm heart, a welcoming smile and her
homes were a haven and gathering place for many. Fairfax brings memories of slumber
parties, hot chocolate and grilled cheese sandwiches after sledding on the golf course,
making hard candy at Christmas, greeting her daughter's boyfriends at the bedroom
window in the middle of the night! Weekends at the Bay with water skiing, volleyball,
cookouts, crab and clam feast, horseshoes, fireworks and fishing...catching 100's of
Spot in one day and making us clean them all!!! Musical concerts with the pots and pans
kitchen band!! Friends and friends of friends were always welcome.
Calva Kephart was born on November 30, 1927 at DC Columbia Hospital for Women.
She was an accomplished musician at 5 years old and won the Interstate Commerce
Commission Talent Show playing the banjo/mandolin with her three brothers, Arnold,
George and Bob.
She graduated from Western High School in 1945 and from George Washington
University with a major in Physical Education and Recreation in 1949 where she was an
active participant in Varsity Soccer, Swimming, Softball, Hockey, Basketball and
Rifle.Her merits included Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, President
of Inter-Sorority Athletic Board, VP of Freshman Class, Secretary of Student council,
Member of Pi Lambda Theta (National Honor Education Society), Daughters of the
American Revolution, Individual Swimming Cup 47'; Mixed Doubles Bowling Cup, '48,
Junior-Senior Athletic Award and Outstanding Senior in Chi Omega Sorority.
She married her husband Bill on December 23, 1949 and was married for 51 years
before his death February 26, 2000.
She wore many hats...Homemaker, Kindergarten Teacher, Home Room Mother, Taxi
Driver for 4 children, gardener, decorator, photographer and was the ULTIMATE
REDSKIN AND NATS FAN!!! Worked as Head of Women's Athletics and Extra
Curricular Activities at GWU from 1967 to 1973.Took great pride in starting the GWU
Women's Crew Team in 1972 and purchased their 1st shell for $500 from Howard
University. They named it "Keppie" to honor her.
She was an accomplished photographer and exhibited her work in Annapolis and Key
Largo. She always appreciated the beauty of God's creation and captured it thru her
lens....in the sunrise shimmering like sparkling diamonds on the Chesapeake Bay, in a
gaggle of geese flying in a V formation over the pier, in the daffodils and azaleas that
blossomed around the house every spring and in the ripe luscious tomatoes and
vegetables she grew in her garden. She saw it in Fred and Ethel's nest of sticks as they
watched over and fed their babies. She saw it in the swans dancing on the shimmering
blue ice of winter. She saw it in the bellowing sails of the Tall Ships plowing through the
choppy waters of the Chesapeake Bay. She even saw God's beauty and appreciated his
creation on a platter of blue crabs cooked and seasoned with Old Bay. At the end, she
was surrounded by her loving family and her pictures that brought to mind all her
wonderful moments and the beauty of a life well lived.
She leaves behind her loving children, Susan, Bill, Tom and Joanne (Collier) Forch
(John), her grandchildren; Matthew, Michael, Alecia, Cheryl Lynn Collier; Andy and Terry
Forch and great granddaughter, Kaydence Collier, plus her loving nieces and nephews.
We thank all the doctors, nurses and staff at St. Joseph Cancer Institute (Towson, Md.),
the Hackerman Patz House, Hospice of the Chesapeake, Vitas Hospice, Cameron Glen
Health and Rehab Center (Reston, Va.) and our cousins and friends who stopped by to
see her and lift her up. She was our mother, our friend, our encourager and comforter
and her memory will burn bright forever in our hearts.
She did not want a funeral but a LIFE CELEBRATION PARTY to be held at the Bay
sometime this summer. Anyone wishing to honor her memory make make a donation to
any of the institutions above who made her life at the "shady side" of her sunset the best
it could be or to a charity of their choice .
Cards may be sent to Joanne Forch, 11200 Pavilion Court, Reston, VA 20194.
She is at peace now, in the loving arms of God and dancing with the angels...let us