Bertha "Babe" Carver died on September 11 at age 100. She was the first female high school principal in El Paso, a position she trained and worked hard for and, when she finally got it, enjoyed. On her 75th birthday she received a proclamation from the Texas Senate for her service to Texas.
Babe (Bertha Louise Crowder) was born in the small Louisiana town of Oakdale, where she attended grade school and high school. She became a strong debater and attended college in Natchitoches, Louisiana on a debate scholarship and debated all over the southeast. After college, she returned to Oakdale and became a teacher in Elizabeth, a mill town near Oakdale. During WWII, she met her soon-to-be husband, Bill Carver, at Camp Clayburn, a wartime military installation, where he was stationed. They were married in 1943 and one year later had their first of 5 children. At the end of the war, the family moved to New Orleans, where Bill attended and graduated from Tulane.
They moved to Baton Rouge where Bill was employed as an accountant, but eventually, the family moved to El Paso, Texas, in 1953, in hopes of improving the health of their third child, who had severe asthma. Babe taught briefly at Saint Joseph school before moving to Rusk elementary, where she taught 5th grade math. In addition to teaching, she began attending UTEP (Texas Western College at that time). It seemed that she was always taking classes to acquire certifications to allow her to advance within the El Paso school system. She taught English at El Paso Tech for several years, then became a counselor, and then the Coordinator of Curriculum. Finally, she got her chance and became the principal of Irvin High School, until her retirement.
Babe had many interests outside of work! She was an avid reader and loved classical music and especially opera with a special love for Wagner. She loved traveling, so she and Bill made several trips to Europe and travelled all over the United States, before he died in 1990. This was quite a heartbreak, as they were still so in love after 47 years.
Babe continued to travel, often taking her grandchildren on trips around the west, or to visit colleges. One of her most memorable trips was to Turkey to visit her grandson.
It was as a person that Babe excelled, making and keeping lifelong friends and visiting her children as they spread out around the country before mostly gathering in the Austin area. She was generous, political--always supporting those who had less--and interested in a variety of things.
Babe had moved to Austin to be closer to family in 2018. She died in her daughter's home, surrounded by loving family.
Babe is survived by her 5 children, Mina, Bill, Lynn, Irene and Bob, 9 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
The family suggests memorial contributions be sent to The Metropolitan Opera and The National Parks Foundation.
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