Dr Elizabeth Marion Cawood, 77, of Abilene, Texas, passed away on Saturday, June 22, 2019. Marion was born in 1941 in Harlan, the younger of two daughters born to Lillian Greer Cawood and Dr James A. Cawood, who for 38 years was Superintendent of Schools in Harlan County.
Prior to her retirement in 2006 Marion had been a Professor of Music in Voice since 1984 at Abilene Christian University. Previously, for 12 years she taught and was Vocal Artist in Residence at David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.She held the Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University, Master of Music from the University of Kentucky, and the Doctor of Music in Vocal Performance from Florida State University. She was the recipient of a Fulbright Grant to Munich, Germany. She went on to Cologne, Germany to sing opera and operetta under contract with the Cologne Opera House for two seasons.Amongst many other venues, she performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City and the Kennedy Centre for the Arts in Washington, D.C. As a soloist she performed with the Dallas Symphony, the Abilene Philharmonic, the Nashville Symphony, the Stuttgart (Germany) Opera Festival, and other symphony orchestras. She won first place in Metropolitan Opera District auditions for two straight years.In 2002 she taught at Oxford University’s St. Hugh’s College. She guided several tours to Europe. In 1989 she was one of two professors named Faculty Member of the Year in ACU’s College of Liberal and Fine Arts. Her students have won awards at Metropolitan District Competitions and are working as performers and educators in the Southeast and Southwest U.S.
A devout member of the Church of Christ her entire life, Marion had been a member of Hillcrest Church of Christ in Abilene for some 35 years by the time of her passing.
She was preceded in death by her father (†1973), her mother (†1995), and her sister, Jenny Lind Cawood (†2014).
She is survived by her nephews, James Cawood Chenault, of San Antonio, Texas, and Brian Chenault, of The Netherlands (Europe); grand-nephew, Evan Chenault, an undergraduate physics student at Duke Kunshan University in China; grand-niece and grand-nephew, Tessa Lynn Chenault and Owen James Chenault, and daughter-in-law Dominiek Chenault, of The Netherlands.
The family of Marion wish to extend heartfelt thanks to Marion’s dear longtime friends Ronda Hillis and Mary Pope, who so lovingly cared for Marion during her final days.
Flowers may be sent to Mount Pleasant Funeral Home at 122 North Cumberland Avenue in Harlan, where a visitation will be held from 6 to 8 PM on Friday, June 28. Funeral services will be held at Mt. Pleasant at 11 AM on Saturday, June 29, with interment to follow at Resthaven Cemetery. Marion’s first cousin James William Cawood, minister from Nashville, Tennessee, will officiate.