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Caldwell Hospice Volunteer’s Artwork Featured in National Calendar

LENOIR, NC (February 14, 20190 — Owen Calloway didn’t take up painting until he was 82, but his work will be seen by millions in a 2019 calendar published by Thrivent Financial. The long-time volunteer for Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care has already used his newfound notoriety to raise money for Caldwell Hospice and GHA Autism Support, two organizations dear to his heart.

It all began last year when 2.4 million Thrivent Financial clients were invited to submit artwork for the 2019 calendar. Calloway submitted one of his oil paintings and it was chosen as the March feature for the new calendar.

(l to r) Caldwell Hospice Director of Business Services Terry Johnson, BS, Artist Owen Calloway, Thrivent Financial representative Chuck Benway and Caldwell Hospice Volunteer Coordinator Cyndi Akins.

“I loved to draw as a child,” says Calloway. My older brother and sister got to do beautiful pastels at school, but when I got to that grade the school stopped providing art classes. I was so disappointed and thought I had just missed out and gave up. But at 82, I decided it wasn’t too late after all.”

Now, at 84, not only is he painting, he is using his artwork to help others.

Thrivent Financial representatives Chuck Benway, CLU, FIC and Dru J. Schneeberger hosted an art exhibit of Calloway’s work at Caldwell Hospice’s Forlines Patient Care Unit in Hudson late last year. Calloway donated two works for a silent auction to support each of the non-profits and signed calendars featuring his artwork. The event raised $1,414, which was divided between the two nonprofit organizations.

“Owen and his wife Mickey are both long-time volunteers and such a joy to know,” said Cyndi Akins, Hospice volunteer coordinator. “We are excited for him to receive this recognition for his art and honored that he chose to share it with Caldwell Hospice.”

As for Calloway, he encourages others to learn new things regardless of age.
“Caldwell Senior Center started an oil painting class in January 2016. I showed up the first day and the teacher had broken her leg,” he recalls. “But, they told me what I needed to get started, so I got to go to a couple of classes, but mostly I just figured it out as I went on my own.”

He paints a variety of subjects, but old barns and water are his favorites.

“God gives us many talents and gifts,” says Calloway. “Sometimes we don’t realize we have them until late in life. … I now really enjoy painting and sharing my gifts with others.”

The Calloways have been Caldwell Hospice volunteers since 2000. They have three adult children, David, a Thrivent Financial employee in Cary, Carla and Amy.

Thrivent Financial, which has an office in Hickory, is a Christian-based financial services organization providing a full suite of products and services including retirement income planning, retail brokerage, business owner solutions and fee-based planning. “We help our members to be wise with money and live generously!” says Benway.