Emily Calhoun
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Emily Martha Calhoun, beloved wife, sibling, aunt and treasured friend to many, passed peacefully from this life to the next in her Boulder home, on March 27, 2021, with her two sisters, husband and faithful Malamute, Blue, by her side. Emily earned her B.A. and M.A. in English Literature at Texas Tech University and received a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. She began her law career as a civil rights lawyer for the Southern Regional Office of the American Civil Liberties Union in Atlanta, Georgia. However, her major impact in law was as a teacher and mentor to hundreds of students in the classroom as an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Georgia Law School (5 years) and as an Associate Professor (11 years) and Professor of Law (24 years) at the University of Colorado Law School. Through her teaching, both in person and in her writing, her unique perspectives were valued for fostering new and deeper understandings of not just the law, but of life and liberties and of our common humanity. Many of her students stayed in touch with her long after they had left law school. While at the University of Colorado, she took leave from the Law School for three years to serve the university as an Associate Vice President for Human Resources. Emily's ongoing legacy and proudest accomplishment was the distribution of millions of dollars to hundreds of women and minority faculty on the four CU campuses since the 1980s due to her groundbreaking pay equity advancements she led while serving in that role. A creative thinker and doer throughout her career, Emily was justifiably proud of her many accomplishments, which invariably "Raised the Bar." Emily's work is further detailed on Emily's law school faculty profile page (https://lawweb.colorado.edu/profiles/profile.jsp?id=9 and click the link there to her Curriculum Vitae). Upon retirement, Emily returned to a life-long passion, writing poetry. She approached poetry with the same intensity, creativity and professionalism that she demonstrated throughout her career. She self-published two collections of poems and co-authored another self-published book of poems. In 2018, Emily's manuscript "Under Long Rains" was a finalist for the Center of Poetry (Residential College in Arts and Humanities) at Michigan State University's Wheelbarrow Books Prize for Emerging Poets. Even as her family and friends celebrate the many ways Emily's life touched-and changed-the lives of others, in her final days, Emily was characteristically focused on her desire to express her gratitude for the countless ways that her life was blessed by others. In that spirit, she asked that her family share this passage on her behalf from "The Wise Heart" by Jack Kornfield: "With gratitude I remember the people, animals, plants, insects, creatures of the sky and sea, air and water, fire and earth, all whose joyful exertion blesses my life every day. With gratitude I remember the care and labor of a thousand generations of elders and ancestors who came before me. I offer my gratitude for the safety and well-being I have been given. I offer my gratitude for the blessings of this earth I have been given. I offer my gratitude for the measure of health I have been given. I offer my gratitude for the family and friends I have been given. I offer my gratitude for the community I have been given. I offer my gratitude for the teachings and lessons I have been given. I offer my gratitude for the life I have been given." In particular, those to whom Emily wanted to extend her personal gratitude include: Her family: Beloved husband, Robert (Kerr); sisters and brothers-in-law Mary Beth and Larry (Towles), Ruth Ellen and Dave (Whitt), nieces Jenny (Towles Gideon) and Erin (Towles Henneke), and Carlynn (Whitt and Geoffrey von Oeyen) and Emmy (Whitt and Josh Nesbit), and their children Matthew and Joshua (Gideon), Jacob, Anna and Jonathon (Henneke), Eli and John (von Oeyen), and Ellis, Caleb and Truett (Nesbit); siblings-in-law Barbara (Kerr) and Larry (Kerr), nephew Galen and niece Aubrey (Kerr); and her many beloved pets. Her beloved and dedicated friends, cousins and relations from every stage of her life, each of whom blessed her with individual and special gifts of love and care. Her beloved ancestors who shared their lessons and teachings who predeceased her: Parents John C. Jr. and Ruth Huston Calhoun, brother John Huston Calhoun, grandparents John C. and Mattie Rowe Calhoun, Junius D. and Emma Gault Huston; great Aunt Nora Gault and innumerable other influential elders, in particular, Jean Kerr Quigley. Her health care providers, all health care providers, at UCHealth whose unconditional loving care carried her through so many difficult times. As Emily's niece Aubrey wrote: "Emily gave me the book 'The Wise Heart' [and] It forever changed my life for the better, just like Emily." Emily will be remembered most by her family and friends for this very thing: for being a loving, thoughtful and generous giver, who changed their lives for the better. Due to the present COVID-19 environment, the family will schedule a celebration of life service at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to TRU Community Care, (Hospice Care), 2594 Trailridge Drive East, Lafayette, CO 80026, or to a charity of your choice.

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Published in The Daily Camera on Apr. 4, 2021.
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April 6, 2021
Emily was a beautiful soul. I will miss our conversations deeply. She often shared with me her love for nature and reading ( something we had in common). She had a wonderful way of connecting with others and will be missed greatly.
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