Dr. Caldwell Obituary Note
Dr. Sally Caldwell, Associate Professor of Sociology at Texas State University, left her extensive circle of friends on Jan. 31, 2014, as a result of complications from a lung transplant in June 2013. Born July 13, 1945, Sally was predeceased by her father and mother, Walter Jack and Ola Elizabeth Burris Caldwell, and brother Jack Grant Caldwell.
She leaves friends, colleagues, and acquaintances that, though grieving, know their lives were enriched by her presence. Among those special acquaintances are Marilee Wood, Tevis Grinstead, former Hays County Judge Liz Sumter, and former Wimberley Mayor Steve Klepfer who spent months at Sally's bedside in Houston as she tried to recover from the transplant operation. Other special friends cherished by Sally include former students Kay Newling and Jasmon Bailey.
Sally graduated from Bryan Adams High School in Dallas Texas in 1962 and, majoring in Sociology, earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1966 and Master's of Arts in 1968 at Southern Methodist University. In 1974, she earned the first Ph.D. awarded by the Sociology Department at the University of North Texas. Sally taught at a number of universities, including Tulane, Oklahoma City University, the University of Oklahoma, and Texas State. Sally published a monograph, now in a second edition, Romantic Deception, about people who provide significant lies about themselves - their marital status and other critical aspects of their biographies during romantic encounters. She also authored a textbook, Statistics Unplugged, now in its 4th edition and used at over 100 universities. The textbook is known for its student-friendliness, as was Sally. Although formal in her approach to students, (always addressing students by their surnames, preceded by Mr. or Ms.) she was known for her love of teaching students about statistics. That love of teaching earned her the NTSO (Non-Traditional Student Organization) Professor of the Year award in 2005 and a Dean's Golden Apple Award for teaching in 2010, as well of the Foundation of Excellence Award from the Student Foundation in 2011.
Sally was also a community activist. She served as a member of Woodcreek's Planning and Zoning Commission (1999-2000), on the Vision 2020 Committees (1998-1999, 2009-2010), and as a council member and Mayor Pro Tem from May 2006-October 2010.
She also played an essential role in the incorporation process for the City of Wimberley, helping to determine boundaries and advised on strategy that made the election successful.
Sally was also a primary advisor to Sumter, helping her plan a successful run for Hays County Judge. A committed and vocal Democrat, she supported liberal causes with a youthful zeal until her death.
She was fiercely dedicated to her students and was held in high esteem by those she taught through the years. "I adored her," one student said in a review that was simply typical of those posted online about her prowess in the classroom. "She put stats in the simplest terms for math idiots like me. She is such a wonderful teacher and explains everything in detail. Plus, she is hilarious and adorable."
Sally was also an accomplished musician, having learned several instruments from her father, a professional musician in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the joy of music.
To have Sally in your corner was to have an energetic, positive, resourceful, and relentless colleague. All of her friends in the community and at Texas State, especially those in the Sociology Department, admired her courage and mourn her loss. We will gather to celebrate her life on Feb. 21, 2014, at 3 P.M. at the UMC Wesley/Christ Chapel Campus Ministry Center on 510 N. Guadalupe and invite all who knew Dr. Caldwell, especially her former students, to join us. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sally's favorite charities, including PAWS, the Hays County Women's Shelter, the Geoff Wood Scholarship at Texas State, the Text Book Scholarship in the Sociology Department at Texas State, or Friends of Blue Hole.