Callie Ruth Baswell Piper, a life-long resident of Cleburne County, passed away on Monday, May 2nd. Visitation will be at Dansby Heritage Chapel in Piedmont, Alabama, on Thursday, May 5th, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. with a celebration of life to follow at 6:00 p.m.
Born on January 25th, 1930, she grew up in Borden Springs and attended Piedmont High School. She married Ernest Reed Piper on December 15th, 1947, and the couple had Clara Rose Piper (Cavender) on July 31st, 1949.
In January of 1954, Mrs. Piper began working for Sewell Manufacturing Company as a sewing machine operator. Working her way up through Repair and Inspection, she was hired as the Section Supervisor for the Bremen plant. As she moved up from Head Quality Control Supervisor in 1962 to Department Supervisor in 1963, Mrs. Piper had found her career and had over 200 employees under her supervision. When Plant #4 in Heflin, Alabama, opened in 1964, she began training in overall plant operations. In 1970, Mrs. Piper became the Plant Supervisor in Heflin and was responsible for over 400 employees and all plant operations. From 1990-1995, she was the Director of Manufacturing with overall responsibility of the five Sewell’s plants, four being in Georgia. She retired as Director on June 30th, 1995. Along the way, Mrs. Piper helped coordinate and make suits for Auburn University including the football players, Coach Pat Dye, Bo Jackson, Alabama’s Wimp Sanderson, the Auburn Tigerettes, and many other public figures.
Besides her focus on her family and her job, Mrs. Piper was also highly involved in civic activities. She was a Director for SouthTrust of Cleburne and Calhoun counties, a member of the Cleburne County Resource Development Committee, a highly-involved member of the Pilot Club of Heflin and was a Community Service Area Leader for the Alabama District of Pilot Club International. Mrs. Piper served as a member of the Cleburne County Chamber of Commerce, was on the Cleburne County Industrial Development Board, and was on the Advisory Board for the Cleburne County Area Vocational School. Also, she was on the Board of Directors for the Cleburne County Cancer Society and the East Central Alabama Cerebral Palsy Center. A member of the American Heart Association, she was the President of the Cleburne County Heart Unit, Chairperson for the Cleburne County Heart Unit Fund Drive, and was a member of the State Development Committee (Alabama Affiliate) of the American Heart Association. She was a member of the Oak Level United Methodist Church for most of her adult life and continued to act as its secretary and treasurer until the church closed in 2021.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest Reed Piper, her daughter, Clara Piper Cavender, her son-in-law, Joe Cavender, and her sister, Willie Mae Albritten. She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Lloyd Oliver Baswell, Jr., and Kay Pollard Baswell; grandchildren Krista Walker Larkin (Ben), Michele Cavender, and Michael Cavender (Jen); great-grandchildren Brayden Walker (Taylor), Ansley White (Colton), Austin Walker (Hailey), Brenna Harris, Callie Cavender, and Celeste Cavender, and Cate Larkin and Jack Larkin; great-great-grandchildren Eli Walker and Isabella White.
Pallbearers will be Michael Cavender, Brayden Walker, Austin Walker, Colton White, Ben Larkin and Lloyd Baswell, Jr.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Heart Association. Dansby Heritage Chapel is honored to serve the Piper Family.