It is with a profound sense of loss that the Tavender family announces the death of Carolyn Barbara Tavender (nee Cawston) after a painful yet courageous battle with cancer and amyloidosis, a rare blood condition. She died in Calgary, her home since childhood, on June 19, 2015 at the age of 73. Carolyn was predeceased by her parents, Marjorie and Jack Cawston and was the beloved wife of David, cherished mother of Kate (Steve Warme) and Andrew (Connie) and beloved grandmother of Madeline, Charlotte, Quinn, Isaac and Rhett as well as the sister of Bill Cawston (Wendy).
Carolyn was a pioneer in the field of interior design in Canada. Over the course of her distinguished career that spanned over forty years, Carolyn worked on more than 700 projects ranging from corporate offices and historic buildings to hospitals, private clubs and many residential homes. Her most notable work included space, office planning and interior detailing for Alberta House in London, England, Government House in Edmonton, McDougall Centre, the Calgary Herald, the relocation of Canadian Pacific's head office to Calgary, the corporate head office of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts in Toronto and the Fort McMurray Regional Hospital. Her final major project before retirement was the interior design of the Alberta Children's Hospital which opened in 2006.
Also of note was her work to create the "look" of the Calgary Olympic Winter Games in 1988. This project resulted in the signature pageantry design for the Games which was applied to 47 sites and venues. She also participated in the design of the Olympic medals as part of the medals committee.
As a testament to Carolyn's extraordinary professional achievements in the field of interior design, many of her long-standing suppliers, contractors and clients came together in 1997 to create an endowment scholarship in her name at Mount Royal University. This fund is awarded to a fourth year student in the interior design faculty who exemplifies the highest personal, professional and academic standards.
Carolyn also played a very active role in the community. Her passion for the arts was clear through her many board appointments over the years including Alberta Ballet, Theatre Calgary, Alberta Art Foundation and as Advisory Council member for the University of Calgary, Faculty of Fine Arts. She was also a Board Member for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation from 1988 to 1993 as well as the Board Chair at the Banff Centre from 1981 to 1987.
Of all of Carolyn's extraordinary professional and community achievements, none of these could outshine the success of her personal life. Carolyn always put her family first. Her husband, children and grandchildren were at the centre of her world, and she spent a lifetime showering all of them with her unwavering love and support. In addition to her family, her many friends also benefitted from her powerhouse personality, delightful sense of humour, strength of character and kindness.
The strength and courage she demonstrated in the last months of her life even as her medical prognosis worsened was truly an inspiration to all who knew her, and who lovingly stood by her side throughout her very challenging illnesses. -