ERMA LEE CALLICOAT
Born June 1, 1928 in Willow Wood, Ohio; one of 6 children to George Elva Callicoat and Bertha Dillon Callicoat.
Erma graduated from Waterloo High School in May 1947. She soon realized that there was not much of a career choice for women in the 50's; other than getting married and raising kids. She wanted to do something better with her life. Some of her brothers were in the military and she had heard all the stories of travel and also the bad stuff. She made a plan to enter nursing school and go into the military.
In 1953, she entered nursing school in Charleston, West Virginia and in 1957 graduated as a RN nurse. In November 1957, she enlisted in the United States Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant and was transferred to Shilling AFB in Kansas. Erma has always said that was one of the things she was most proud of. She made a plan and stuck with it.
Erma's life was about to change in ways she could not imagine. She would meet and fall in love with Vernon Smithers. This is when the love story began. I will call it An Officer and a Gentleman. Officer: Nurse Smithers and Gentleman: Cook Smithers
The military did not approve of officers and enlisted personnel fraternizing. So when Erma and Vernon met, they kept it a secret until they were sure. Even then they had to have permission to get married. But with the help of a ranking officer and a GODWINK, they were married on July 25, 1958. Most of the time they were stationed at the same base. Even if they were not; they seem to get together and traveled all over the United States.
After they got transferred to Europe, they continued to travel and see things and places that we can only imagine. They went to Japan, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, England and more. We have all heard the mystery stories of the cook that had his own itinerary.
Erma retired from the Air Force as a major in November 1977. She and Vernon settled down in Rockport, TX. They both loved to fish and Rockport was just the place. They stayed at Rockport until they moved to the Cedar Creek Lake area and built their house in 1999; on the lake, of course, so they could still fish.
Erma and Vernon did not have any children of their own. They were too busy taking care of all of us.
Erma lived a long and good life. She had few regrets. She left all of us with a lifetime of memories.
Visitation will be held for Major Erma Smithers on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, 11:00am at the Huckabee-Tomlinson Funeral Home in Seven Points. Funeral Services will follow at 12:00am. Fred Bowers will be officiating.
Burial with military honors will be held on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, 11:00am at the DFW National Cemetery, Dallas, TX.
Services will be under the direction of Huckabee-Tomlinson Funeral Homes.