Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
Robert W. Caldwell, 85, St. Marys, died at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 20, 2014, at Joint Township District Memorial Hospital, St. Marys.
He was born July 22, 1928, in Toledo, to Clarence and Thelma Ashton Caldwell. On Oct. 9, 1954, he married Mary Ann Minch, who died Dec. 18, 2013.
Surviving are three children, Bill Caldwell, St. Marys, Sharon Anderson, Wichita, Kansas, and Brenda (Bryan) Ridings, Wapakoneta; six grandchildren, Nikki Fannon Shaner, Belinda Coffey, Jesse (Mollie) Fannon, Tia Caldwell, Wade Caldwell and Geoff Anderson; four great-grandchildren, Larz (Kaila) Weber, LaFern Shaner, Malachi Shaner and Skylar Caldwell; a great-great-grandson, Larz Weber Jr; a sister, Marvel Thomas, St. Marys; and a brother, Walter (Shirley) Caldwell, Tilford, Pa.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Debra Fannon; and siblings Margaret Lininger, Jack Caldwell, Jerry Caldwell and Albert Binkley.
He was a retired veteran of the United States Navy. He served his entire career in the Submarine Service of the Navy and was part of the crew of the USS Seadragon, a skate-class submarine. On Aug. 21, 1960, the sub made history, becoming the first submarine to transit the Northwest Passage to reach the North Pole. The ship surfaced on Aug. 25, and the crew played a game of softball on the North Pole. The ship and its crew received the Navy Unit Commendation for their work. After retirement from the Navy, he worked at Superior Metal in Wapakoneta, where he also retired. He was a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9289 in St. Marys. He loved going fishing and being with his two dogs. He spent lots of time with his grandchildren and enjoyed St. Marys Roughrider football games.
Funeral rites are 11 a.m. Tuesday at Miller Funeral Home West Chapel, St. Marys, the Rev. Dr. Ed Bray officiating. Burial with full military honors will follow at Resthaven Memory Gardens.
Calling is 5-8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home, where memorial gifts may be given to the Auglaize County Humane Society or VFW Post 9289 Women's Auxiliary.
Condolences may be sent to the family via Millerfuneralhomes.net.