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Pearl A. Callwood Dead at 81

Jan. 25, 2006 – Community leader Pearl A. Callwood, 81, died Jan. 19 at the Massac Nursing Facility on St. Thomas.
Callwood was an active woman who pursued a broad span of interests. A career U. S. Customs officer, she retired in the 80s. She was a professional Quadrille dancer, a ham radio operator (call name "Pearlie"), at one time a member of the Caribbean Chorale and of the League of Women Voters, and she was active in All Saints Episcopal Church.
Spurred by a desire to educate people in eating healthily, in 1981, she opened the Veggie Table on Veterans Drive in Frenchtown. The store, which features a veggie luncheon, is now run by her daughter, Gail Callwood.
Gail Callwood, who describes her mother as a "free spirit,"said the senior Callwood was "instrumental in revitalizing the Mungo Niles Cultural Dancers."
She said, "My mother always kept them in the limelight. They took lots of trips. They performed in Washington, D.C., New Mexico, and Denmark."
The popular group still performs locally. In the mid-90s, Callwood was featured on the front page of the "Daily News" dancing the quadrille on a Sunday afternoon at the University of the Virgin Islands Afternoon on the Green.
Gail Callwood said her mother also "wrote and edited the local Customs newsletter." And she made seed jewelry which she sold at local art fairs.
A native St. Thomian, Callwood always gave to her community and it gave back. In 1997, she was selected Ms. Virgin Islands Senior, and traveled to Biloxi, Miss. for the Ms. Senior pageant.
In the '60s and '70s, Callwood was a familiar fixture at the waterfront Customs office.
A former employee of Antilles Airboats recalled that Callwood was "very well liked because of her gentleness and her even temper. She was always willing to help us out when we had a problem with Customs regulations and passengers."
Callwood is survived by daughters, Gail Callwood-Hill, Agnes Callwood, and son, Clifford Callwood Jr.; four grandchildren, Clifford Callwood III, Marlon, Dayle and Deidra Hill.
A visitation will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 30, at the Davis Funeral Home. The funeral will follow at 10 a.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church on Garden St.

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