Nicky Caldwell was born Ida Minerva Tarbell on November 16, 1943, in East McKeesport, Pennsylvania and died at the age of 78 on April 29, 2022.
At the age of six, Nicky and her family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. As a young woman, she enjoyed reading, ice skating, sewing, and spending time with friends. Nicky graduated from Highland High School in 1961 and went on to earn a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from New Mexico State University. It was at NMSU that Nicky met the love of her life and soulmate Jerry Caldwell. The two married on November 25, 1964, and a short time later moved back to Albuquerque. Not long after having their first of two daughters, Jerry was sent overseas on active duty with the New Mexico Air National Guard. While he was away, Nicky proudly helped support her young family as an administrative assistant at Sandia Corporation.
Upon his return to Albuquerque, Jerry and Nicky launched a real estate investment and management company together. Throughout their working lives, Nicky acted as the business's Chief Financial Officer and full partner. She faithfully and expertly executed all the bookkeeping and advertising duties for the business, which at its peak consisted of multiple properties and hundreds of rental units throughout the city of Albuquerque. Once Jerry and Nicky's daughters, Donise and Debbie, were school-aged, Nicky also enjoyed a stint as a Health Assistant with Albuquerque Public Schools, first at McCollum Elementary School and then for several years at Mark Twain Elementary School. She loved working with the staff and children at both schools as she helped provide the students (many of whom had chronic health conditions and/or disabilities) with physical and emotional support. Although her own physical challenges eventually prevented her from continuing to work for APS, Nicky maintained continued friendships with many of her co-workers.
Throughout her life, Nicky put her talents as a seamstress to use for herself and her family, sewing much of her own clothing, including a brocade skirt suit for her wedding, as well as window treatments and bedding for her home, baby, and children's clothing for her young daughters, and - much to their delight - wardrobes for their many dolls.
Nicky was well-loved by many wonderful friends, neighbors, and family members. She adored her daughters and her grandchildren and was utterly devoted to Jerry, as was he to her. When her health began to decline nearly four decades ago, Jerry cared for her diligently, lovingly, unwaveringly, and cheerfully each and every day.
Nicky prayed and read her Bible daily, taking great hope, joy, and comfort in her faith.
Nicky is survived by Jerry Caldwell, her husband of 57 years; daughters Donise (David) Craner and Deb (Devin) Mitchell; grandchildren Joel, Garret, Reid, and Camille; sister-in-law Suzon iTarbell; nieces and nephews Jared, Amber, Tyson, Brandon, and Kyra; as well as their spouses and many precious great-nieces and great-nephews. Nicky was preceded in death by her parents Margaret Eleanor (Shaver) Tarbell and Robert Scott Tarbell; her younger brother William "Bill" Tarbell; and older sister Margaret "Peggy" Tarbell Clemmons.
A private family gathering will be held to remember and celebrate Nicky. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at nationalmssociety.org/donate.