Juliet Given St. John Calvin

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Juliet Given St. John Calvin

August 03, 1933 - February 14, 2016

Juliet Given St. John Calvin, 82, died Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016. The daughter of William Morris Given and Susan Perry Given, Juliet was born Aug. 3, 1933. She graduated from Ramsey High School at 16, and then attended Hollins College in Roanoke, Va., for two years. She completed her undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University, graduating magna cum laude in French and English literature. At Vanderbilt, she was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority. She was the president of the Birmingham Debutante Club of 1954, and was presented at the Redstone Club’s annual ball. Juliet was married to Finis Ewing St. John, III in 1956, with whom she lived in Cullman until his untimely death in 1984. The mother of two sons, Fess and Bill, she was active in numerous civic, charitable, church organizations and causes, including Grace Episcopal Church, where she taught Sunday School and served on the vestry, and Head Start, for which she was one of Cullman’s first volunteers, the Red Cross and Cub Scouts. In 1973, at the age of 40, she enrolled at Cumberland School of Law. Commuting daily from Cullman, she finished seventh in her class of 200, served on the Cumberland Law Review and was inducted into the honorary society Curia Honoris. She practiced law for over 20 years in the firm of St. John & St. John with her husband, her father-in-law, Finis Ewing St. John Jr., her son, Fess, and her daughter-in-law, Gaynor, trying many cases throughout North Alabama. When she began her law practice she was the only female attorney in Cullman County and later became the first female president of a county bar association in Alabama. Her mentoring and example were meaningful to many women lawyers who followed her into practice in Cullman. She served as a member of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees from 1982 to 1983. In 1987, she married to Joseph Hiram Calvin, Jr. with whom she lived until his death in 2012. They traveled extensively around the world and spent parts of each year in Birmingham and Cashiers, N.C. In retirement, Juliet served as the National Chairman of the Indian Nurse Program of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America and was the State Chair of Patriotic Services in that organization. She taught reading to underprivileged children for many years and was named Decatur Volunteer of the Year. She was a member of the Tremont Garden Club, the Book Markers, the Cambridge Study Club and was the first (and only woman) president of the Colony Club of High Hampton in Cashiers, N.C. She organized and helped administer numerous bridge clubs and was a loving member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. She was an accomplished watercolorist. Even in light of her remarkable and diverse life and career, Juliet will be most remembered for the sheer joy she took in life, her family, and her legions of devoted and lifelong friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husbands; her brothers, William Morris Given, Jr. and Samuel Perry Given; and her granddaughter, Emily Parker St. John. She is survived by her sons, Finis Ewing St. John IV (Gaynor), and William Given St. John (Elizabeth), her grandsons, Finis Ewing St. John V (Virginia) and John Jefferson St. John (Maryann); her great-granddaughter, Mary Juliet St. John; stepson, Joseph Hiram Calvin III; numerous nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews. She is also survived by her beloved caretaker and friend, Margaret Dunsford. The family wishes to thank Margaret as well as Dr. Gorman Jones for their years of patient attention and care. In lieu of flowers, the family requests any memorial gifts be made to the Emily St. John and Juliet St. John Calvin Memorial at the Birmingham Museum of Art, 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35203. A memorial service will be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Birmingham on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, at 2 p.m. Visitation will be from noon to 2 p.m. at the church.
Published on February 16, 2016
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