In memoriam: Emeritus missionary Lois Ethel Calhoun, 98

Lois Ethel Calhoun

Lois Ethel Calhoun, an emeritus International Mission Board missionary who shared the gospel among Northern African and Middle Eastern Affinity Peoples in Jordan and Gaza, died Oct. 29, 2019, in Maysville, Kentucky. She was 98.

Calhoun was born March 11, 1921, in Lexington to the late Luther K. and Maude Williams Calhoun. She graduated from Henry Clay High School; received the Bachelor of Science from University of Kentucky, Lexington; received her nursing diploma from Miami Valley Hospital School of Nursing in Dayton, Ohio; and received the Master of Science from the University of Colorado Graduate School of Nursing.

A registered nurse, Calhoun held nursing positions in Lexington and at Miami Valley Hospital, where she was supervisor of the emergency and out-patient departments and then supervisor and assistant director of nursing service. She also worked as a nurse in Denver.

When seeking missionary appointment, Calhoun wrote that her pastor in Dayton took a trip to Palestine and learned that the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) was seeking nurses. “He then asked me if I would consider going as a foreign missionary. I said that I would be willing to go if the Lord wanted me to.”

She began to think and pray about the possibility, but felt she should finish her graduate studies in Colorado. She enrolled there and contacted the Foreign Mission Board, saying she was willing to go anywhere they would send her.

On July 30, 1970, the FMB employed her as a missionary nurse at the Baptist Hospital in Ajloun, Jordan. She became director of nursing service in 1976 and filled that role until her retirement after 18 years of service.

Survivors include a brother, Thomas A. Calhoun; five nieces; and four nephews.

Funeral services were held Nov. 2, 2019, at Aberdeen Baptist Church.

Donations may be made in her memory to Hospice of Hope, Maysville, or the Aberdeen Baptist Church.

Read an obituary here.