Cornelia Caldwell Southard – Captain, United States Army

Cornelia Caldwell “Connie” Southard, 89, of Greeley died Tuesday, January 24, 2006, at the Hospice and Palliative Care of Northern Colorado inpatient unit in Greeley, Colorado, after a long illness with lung and heart disease.


She was born February 18, 1916, in Davidson, Oklhomaa, to John William and Emma Maude (Aven) Caldwell.

She met her husband, William H. “Bill” Southard while both were serving in the Army during World War II. She moved to Greeley after the war, and they married on August 4, 1946.

Mrs. Southard received her degree in nursing from Baptist Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1941. She served as a register Army nurse and captain in the Army in the European Theater. She was shot by a sniper while tending to wounded American soldiers in France and was among the first medical teams to go into Dachau concentration camp in Germany to minister to the survivors. She always said she loved being a nurse in the operating room and that she was most proud of her service to her country in the Army. She was honored at the U.S. Women in the Military Service War Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Mrs. Southward continued to use her skills as a nurse in Greeley for the next 50 years, volunteering as a Grey Lady with the Greeley Hospital, now North Colorado Medical Center, and working with Hospice and Palliative Care of Northern Colorado.

A lifelong member of the First Christian Church, Mrs. Southard was devoted to her family and friends. An avid gardener, she was respected for her prize roses and was recognized as the “Orchid Lady” for growing rare orchids from around the world.

She loved music and the theater and encouraged family to participate in actively support the cultural arts, carrying on the family tradition established by Angie and Charles Southard in Greeley.

Mrs. Southard loved to travel, and she and her husband visited more than 152 countries. She also was an excellent hostess. Her favorite memories were of sharing her world travels with her husband and gathering family and friends for
good food and lively conversations.

Survivors are her husband, William H. Southard of Greeley; a daughter, Ann Southard Beard of San Diego, California; a son, Charles E. Southard II and his wife Patty of Provo, Utah; four grandchildren, Jeffery L. Beard of Los Angeles, Kristy Morris of Eagle Mountain, Utah, and Matthew Jory Southard and James Michael Southard, both of Provo; and four great-grandchildren, Madalyn, Taylor, Conner and Zachary Morris.

Also surviving are a sister, Frances Stone of Columbia, South Carolina, a cousin, Jerry  Wise of South Padre Island, Texas; and three nephews, David S. Gillespie of Kinderhook, New York, Harry St. John of Red Oaks, Iowa, and Philip Stone.

Her parents, a brother, “Son” Caldwell; a sister and brother-in-law, Ney and  Leslie Standley; two nephews, Robert M. Gillespie and John Stone; and two sister-in-laws, Mary Elizabeth Gillespie and Edith St. John, preceded her in death.

Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Friday at the First Christian Church, Greeley. Cremation. Private family inurnment will be in Linn Grove Cemetery.

Instead of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the American Lung Association in care of Allnutt, 702 13th St., Greeley, Colorado 80631.

Actually, Captain Southard was laid to rest with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on 24 May 2006.

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