The Clay County community and, particularly, the Business & Professional Women (BPW) are joining a loving family in saying good-bye to a good friend today.
Mabel Kidwell, 93, passed away at 1:10 a.m. Wednesday in regional Hospital, Terre Haute. (See the obituary on page 3.)
Mabel's good friend and fellow BPW member, Kathy Deal, supplied the following information.
For 59 years, Mabel was a member of BPW. She served in many local, district and state offices, including the state presidency in 1963-'64; no small task, when you consider there were 10,059 members. At the time of her death, she was the Kroger certificate fundraiser project chair and local membership chair of the Brazil club. In 1955, she was president of the Brazil BPW. Mabel was also known to the national organization. Many years ago, she served as the national registrar at the convention in Hawaii.
Her honors include:
- Co-recipient with Kathy Deal for the 2001 Clay County Focus Award for their work in organizing the annual Reality Store for all 8th graders in Clay County for the last 13 years. This project has educated thousands of Clay County students in budgeting, making wise choices, and planning for the future.
- 2003 BPW/Indiana Mentor Award winner.
"This is one of the most prestigious awards of the state federation saved for a member who truly reaches out to make life better for other women and girls," wrote Kathy.
- She is a past recipient of the Brazil BPW Woman of the Year Award.
"When she was 90 years old, she learned how to email and use the Internet-- extraordinary!," Kathy wrote in an e-mail following her death on Wednesday. " When she was in her late 80s, she enrolled in a BPW program with me called Individual Development which focused on public speaking, how to deal with public relations, how to deal in business settings, etc. We both enjoyed it so much that we took further training to be the district trainers.
Even though she was retired, she never stopped learning and growing as a professional.
"She was very active in Friends of the Library coordinating book sales giving countless hours to that organization. Up until her death, she organized the greeter teams at Berea Church, continued to drive, work on projects, mentor others, and take care of her own home. She was simply an incredible role model for women of all ages!"