Audrey Caldwell, 78
September 10, 2016
Audrey Caldwell, 78, a retired associate professor who taught English for nearly 30 years at Alvernia University in Reading, died after a lengthy illness on Saturday, Sept. 10, at Keystone Villa at Ephrata, where she had been a resident since October 2014.
Caldwell, who lived in Shillington for 25 years before moving to Ephrata, taught courses at Alvernia in basic writing, grammar studies, history of the English language, plus women writers of color. She also served for many years on the university’s Faculty Council. She was known as firm and tough but also compassionate and witty, with a particular dedication to underprivileged students and to weaker student writers.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education with magna cum laude honors in Millersville University at age 35, Caldwell embarked on her four-decade teaching career with a six-year stint at Manheim Central Junior High School.
She earned a master’s degree in English with high honors at Villanova University in 1978. She later earned all-but-dissertation status at the University of Delaware and was awarded a certificate in teaching of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) at Immaculata University in 2002.
Prior to her professorship at Alvernia, she was an adjunct instructor at several area colleges and taught at high schools in Ithaca and Dryden, N.Y. She was a member of the National Council of Teachers of English.
Audrey was born on May 19, 1938, in Lancaster, Pa., to the late Robert and Winifred Snyder DeMora. She graduated from McCaskey High School in 1956, playing violin and clarinet in the orchestra, writing for the student newspaper and participating in Leaders Club athletics.
She lived in Lititz for about 30 years as she raised two children. Before starting college, she worked as a proofreader for more than a decade at the former Science Press. She was also a member of the Warwick Township Environmental Committee, a member and officer of the Lititz Jayne-Cees and a Lancaster County Democratic committeewoman.
Besides teaching at Manheim Central, Caldwell also was the high school’s varsity girls’ track-and-field coach. Two of her athletes won individual gold medals at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state meet.
An avid runner herself, she participated in many events in the Lancaster area. She was also a Volkswagen enthusiast, a rabid Julie Andrews fan and was passionate about baseball, especially when watching her grandsons play.
She is survived by her partner, Rita Zimmerman, of York, whom she married in 2008. She is also survived by a son, David Caldwell of South Orange, N.J.; two grandsons, Benjamin and Daniel Caldwell, also of South Orange; a son-in-law, James Schreder, of Lansdale; a brother, Robert DeMora, of Youngsville, N.Y.; a sister, Michelle Dorsey, of Lancaster; two nieces, a nephew and many beloved cousins. Caldwell’s daughter, Wendy, preceded her in death in January 2015.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages charitable contributions to the National Alzheimer’s Association, the Berks AIDS Network or the Salvation Army, with which her family had a relationship for decades.
A private graveside service is to be held Wednesday, Sept. 14, but the public is invited to an informal celebration of her life on Sunday, Sept. 18, at 2 p.m. in the community room at Keystone Villa, 100 N. State St., Ephrata.
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Condolences to the Family
September 15, 2016
I met Audrey at Keystone Villa where she resided with my mother. My condolences to her family and partner. I found her to be very much wanting to continue learning and enjoying the outdoors on the deck where she spent many hours. Audrey, may you rest in peace. Cheri Rozetar
September 15, 2016
Audrey and I started the same year at MC. We fought the good fight to get girls’ sports recognized as an equal to boys’ sports. She did a great job as an English teacher and also as the girls’ track coach. I have not seen her since the MC years, but she will always be a wonderful part of my teaching memories. RIP Audrey! – Marilyn Bradley
September 14, 2016
I am sad to hear of Audrey’s passing. I met her at Alvernia and enjoyed getting together with her on many ocassions; esp at the Christmas holidays. I’ll always remember her smile, sense of humor and laughter. She spoke fondly of her children and grandchildren whom she loved very much. She also adored her brother and spoke highly of him. May your fond memories of her bring comfort. She was a remarkable woman and a dear friend.
- Sunday, September 18, 2016
- 2:00 PM
- Keystone Villa Community Room
- 100 N. State St.
- Ephrata, PA
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