Class  of  1943
William  B. "Bill"  Caldwell

Obituary

 

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'Bill' Caldwell

November 7, 1924 - August 23, 2009)

Published: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 11:58 AM CDT
The funeral service for Board of Public Utilities chairman William B. “Bill” Caldwell of Paris will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at First Christian Church, where he was a member, elder and trustee.

Officiating will be the Rev. Megan Huston, minister of First Christian Church, the Rev. Johnny Wray, former minister at the church, and Mitzi Minor, a professor at Memphis Theological Seminary. Burial, with a Navy military honor guard, will be in Maplewood Cemetery.

Named as pallbearers are grandsons: Scott and Ivan Caldwell and Taylor Peterson; nephews: Dan Collins, Louis and Cash Caldwell and Dave Tidwell; a niece: Lisa Hippensteal; and Michael McSwain.

Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Paris Rotary Club, where Caldwell was a member and past president.

Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. today at McEvoy Funeral Home and after 10 a.m. Wednesday at the church.

Caldwell, 84, died Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009, at Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville.

His wife, Ann Littleton Caldwell, survives. They were married on June 28, 1949.

A Henry County native, Caldwell was born Nov. 7, 1924, a son of the late James Alfred Caldwell and Margaret Bowles Caldwell.

Caldwell was chairman of the BPU for 45 years and worked as plant manager of the Clippard Plant for 17 years. He also was vice president of manufacturing at Plumley Rubber Co.

He was a charter member of the Henry County Fair Association, Paris Country Club and the Elks Lodge. He was executive secretary for the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce for four years and the Chamber’s Man of the Year in 1979.

A U.S. Navy veteran, he served on the carrier USS Franklin, surviving a kamikaze attack.

He attended Murray State University and the universities of Minnesota and Tennessee.

He also owned and operated a 400-acre farm in the Elkhorn community.

Caldwell remained very active in church, community and civic organizations until his death, according to a family member. He was a 50-year member of Springville Masonic Lodge.

The late Bryant Williams, Post-Intelligencer editor emeritus, once wrote of Caldwell, “Retirement in the real sense of the word is not in the vocabulary of this survivor of the USS Franklin, this businessman, civic leader, farmer, church man, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.”

Caldwell also leaves one daughter: Sally (Walt) Peterson of Paris; two sons: William B. “Bo” (Kathy) Caldwell Jr. of Paris and Alfred (Jane) Caldwell of Louisville, Ky.; three sisters: Jane Woods and Frances Tidwell, both of Gatlinburg, and Mattie Thrall of Sebastian, Fla.; one brother: Mike Caldwell of Paris;

Two brothers-in-law: Bob Collins of Paris and Joe Baker Littleton of Murray; six grandchildren: Christy Caldwell of Paris, Scott (Erin) Caldwell of Memphis, Ivan (Liz) Caldwell of Crestwood, Ky., Amy Peterson of Nashville, Beth (Jeffrey) Arrington of Auburn, Ala., and Taylor Honeycutt Peterson of Helena, Ala.;

Three great-grandchildren: Jackson Miller Caldwell of Memphis, Vivian Menier Caldwell of Crestwood and Sophie Grace Arrington of Auburn; special friends: Michael McSwain and Luke Blakemore, both of Paris; and numerous nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.

He also was preceded in death by a sister: Margaret Anne Collins on May 29, 1997; and one brother: Joe Caldwell.

Memorials may be made to First Christian Church.

 

Tribute

Bill Caldwell was a cornerstone


List of achievements set him far apart
Published: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 11:58 AM CDT
Few, if any, men have contributed more to the life of this community than William B. Caldwell.

Any one of his civic accomplishments would have been enough to mark him as a distinguished citizen. The sum of them all sets him far above others.

Consider:

• For 45 years, he was chairman of the Board of Public Utilities, a role in which he championed high standards of service and public accountability.

• He was one of the prime recruiters of an industry here, Clippard Instruments, and served as the first plant manager.

• He was vice president of manufacturing at Plumley Rubber Co. during that industry’s prime years of growth.

• He was the first executive director of the Chamber of Commerce and the first general chairman of the World’s Biggest Fish Fry.

• He was a charter member of the Fair Association, Paris Country Club and Paris Elks Lodge.

• He was organizer and chairman of the Sports Hall of Fame.

• He served as Rotary Club president and Heritage Center board chairman.

• He was an elder and trustee of First Christian Church.

Bill Caldwell was a Henry County native who entered the Navy immediately upon graduation from Grove High School in 1943 and served in combat in the South Pacific in World War II.

He was a family man, a highly decent man, a man with many friends. Courtly and congenial, he was the epitome of a Southern gentleman, one who could be a forceful leader without ever being coarse or rude.

In the life of this community, he was more than a building block. He was a cornerstone.

 

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Both the above items
Reprinted from  THE  PARIS  POST-INTELLIGENCER
Paris, Tennessee
Tuesday, August 25, 2009  Edition ~ Used by Permission

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Longtime BPU chairman Bill Caldwell dies

Longtime Board of Public Utilities chairman William B. “Bill” Caldwell, 84, died Sunday afternoon at Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville.

Caldwell served as chairman of the BPU for 45 years. He was instrumental in recruiting the Clippard plant to Henry County and was employed as its first plant manager.

In a resolution introduced on the floor of the Tennessee State House of Representatives by former Rep. Don Ridgeway in 2001, Caldwell was commended as the first executive director of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce; a charter member of the Henry County Fair Association; and the first general chairman of the World’s Biggest Fish Fry.

He worked as vice president of manufacturing at Plumley Rubber Co. in Paris.

He also was credited with forming the Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame, where he served as chairman from 1994-2000. In 2001, he received the hall’s Distinguished Service Award.

Caldwell was a charter member of the Paris Country Club. He also helped charter the Elks Lodge here and was a longtime supporter of Little League and Babe Ruth baseball and Grove and Henry County High School athletics.

Caldwell grew up on a family farm in the Elkhorn community. He was a 1943 graduate of Grove High School.

A U.S. Navy World War II veteran, Caldwell was one of 700 sailors who survived a kamikaze attack on the carrier USS Franklin, which was manned by about 3,500.

After the war, he attended Murray State University, where he met his wife, Ann, who survives.

In the community, Caldwell also was a member and past president of the Rotary Club and chairman of its Good Citizenship Awards Committee.

He served as chairman of the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center board and was a member of its executive board of trustees.

He was a member and officer of Lewis-Wimberley VFW post and an elder and trustee of First Christian Church in Paris.

McEvoy Funeral Home will announce arrangements.

 

The above item
Reprinted from  THE  PARIS  POST-INTELLIGENCER
Paris, Tennessee
Monday, August 25, 2009  Edition ~ Used by Permission
 

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