If you ever had the opportunity to call Maude Evelyn (McNeil) Calhoun a friend, you were a fortunate person, indeed. But even if you had never met her, it is undeniable that your life in Ashe County is better today for her efforts.

Calhoun passed away Feb. 2 at the age of 85, capping a life of teaching, including Sunday school for nearly seven decades, leading young minds in 4H and showing herself time and again to be a champion for the children and community she loved.

A ferocious fundraiser, Calhoun was instrumental in developing the Blue Ridge Brutal into the capstone event it is today, and it is because of her early work on the board of the fundraising arm to raise the Ashe County Civic Center that even now many refer to our premier theater facility as “The house that Maude built.”

Whether it was constructing buildings or building relationships, Calhoun deserved our gratitude. She will be missed, but in fitting with the humility with which she ever took public accolades, we will repeat here the simple message on the sign on the Civic Center facing Hwy. 221: “Thank you Maude.”

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