By Ralphine Major
In 2017, the Hen House at Calfee Farms ushered in the Christmas season with an open house. Our family stopped by early on Saturday morning. When we arrived, Ron was out front at the new fire pit which added a homey touch to the landscape. Becky greeted us at the entrance that gave way to the aroma of apple cider and a table filled with tempting desserts. Inside, the room was as warm as the hosts’ reception. We stayed awhile and visited with Ron and Becky as if there were no other items on the day’s agenda. This stop was the most important! Visits with the Calfees usually resulted in more Focus stories to share!
We talked about church, community, and their three sons—Matthew, Jeremy, and Nathan—and grandchildren. Becky told about the time her father came home and announced they were leaving the city and moving to the country! “It was just like on the television show Green Acres,” she said, referring to the long-running series about a family who left the city behind. Becky’s family left their home in Knoxville and settled in rural Corryton. It was hilarious to hear her tell about adapting to life in the country and gardening!
According to Matthew, the oldest of the Calfee sons, earlier this year “mom was diagnosed with a vicious type of cancer.” It claimed her vibrant life on April 4, 2019. At age 65, Becky went to her heavenly home. At her funeral, honors were provided by the Tennessee Federation of Fire Chaplains. Bagpipes were played. Pallbearers were her colleagues from Roane State and Tennessee EMS Education Association (TEMESA). An American flag draped her casket that was transported by ambulance to the graveside service. This Critical Care Paramedic and instructor was buried with military honors at Clapps Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery, a stone’s throw from the home she shared with Ron, her husband of 48 years. The Rebecca Calfee Memorial Scholarship Fund has been set up in her memory, and donations can be made to Roane State Foundation, 276 Patton Lane, Harriman, TN 37748. Three Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) scholarships have also been established in her memory.
I still cannot believe she is gone. Had it not been for her phone call to come and share about “The Hen House at Calfee Farms” four years ago, I could have missed her friendship altogether. Using Matthew 6:33 in the New Testament as his reference, Matthew Calfee summed up their family’s recent loss in this way: “Time heals all wounds, and God is the source of our comfort. He supplies His children with all their needs if we seek him first.” I think Becky would agree.