Chloe Tidwell Forkel, 92, passed away Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls.
She was born Jan. 3, 1922, in Waco, Texas, to Kalvert and Ruth Taylor Tidwell. Chloe grew up in Waco.
She was the granddaughter of prominent Southern Baptist preacher, educator and author Dr. J. B. Tidwell, who headed up the Bible Department at Baylor University for many years. Chloe attended college at Baylor, and assisted and provided secretarial support to her grandfather during this period. One of her duties was transcribing Sunday School lessons for the Baptist Standard news publication. Multiple generations of Tidwells have supported Baylor activities and projects over the years, and in 2007, the family was recognized as a "First Family of Baylor University" for their outstanding alumni contributions.
In 1942, Chloe graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education. One of her first teaching assignments was in Marfa, Texas, where she taught school for two years. During this time, she was thrilled to watch the U.S. Cavalry Unit members that were stationed there, with their bayonets and beautiful horses, going through military maneuvers as they prepared for service in World War II. She didn't know at the time that this would be the end of an era, and the last time that U.S. military operations would include a mounted cavalry force.
On Oct. 30, 1943, Chloe married the true love of her life, Curt Emil Forkel, in a ceremony where Southern Baptist Convention President Pat Neff officiated. (Pat Neff also held positions as president of Baylor University and governor of Texas.) Chloe and Curt had a very long and happy marriage, and raised three daughters.
Curt's career in mechanical engineering took the family to towns throughout Texas, as well as to New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, and finally to Idaho Falls in 1963.
While in Idaho Falls, Chloe taught second and third grades at Ethel Boyes and West Side elementary schools for 22 years. She also continued her own schooling, and earned a Master of Arts degree in elementary education from Idaho State University. Chloe retired from teaching in 1987, with many fond memories of her students and their families.
Needless to say, Chloe's religious heritage and upbringing, and her unending faith in and love for her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, were reflected in everything she did. She became a Christian at an early age.
She was an active member in the Southern Baptist churches wherever she lived, including her membership at Calvary Baptist Church in Idaho Falls. She held various positions within the church, including Sunday School teacher, Vacation Bible School teacher, nursery worker, service with the Pulpit Committee and participation in the Baptist Women's Missionary Union.
She treasured her Bible and read through it many times; she had numerous favorite Bible passages that she committed to memory, including the "Bible A, B, Cs," which she loved to recite. Chloe wanted for her life to honor and glorify God, and she was always willing to serve her church in any way that might be needed.
On the home front, Chloe was an avid dog lover and personally raised and completely spoiled several dogs, including one dachshund, several basset hounds, an Airedale terrier and two Scottish terriers.
In her spare time, she enjoyed reading, painting, crossword puzzles, sewing, crafts, bird-watching and family outings. She also had an insatiable sweet tooth and (although she was not a particularly good cook in other respects), she taught her daughters to make delicious homemade fudge when they were still quite young!
At various times, Chloe was a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, the Delta Kappa Gamma teaching sorority, the Idaho Education Association, the Idaho Falls Art Guild, the Idaho Falls Garden Club, the National Audubon Society and, of course, the Baylor Alumni Association.
She is survived by three daughters, Kaye (Keith) Bentzen of Denver, Ruth Forkel of Houston and Candace Wilkinson of Idaho Falls; four grandchildren, Daniel Bentzen of Idaho Falls, Amy (Craig) Smith of Houston, Lauren Wilkinson (Parker Thompson) of Alameda, Calif., and Thomas (Thu) Wilkinson of Copenhagen, Denmark; and two great-grandchildren, Lucy Thompson and Violet Thompson of Alameda, Calif.
Chloe was preceded in death by both parents, her brother and sister, and her husband, Curt.
Her children and grandchildren will sorely miss her, and look forward to the day when they will be reunited with her in heaven! What a happy time that will be!
Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, at Fielding Memorial Park Cemetery in Idaho Falls. Arrangements are under the direction of Buck-Miller-Hann Funeral Home.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.buckmillerhann.com.