John H. Caldwell
The Guest Book is expired.
John Harris Caldwell, 84, passed away Friday, May 4, 2012 at Select Specialty Hospital in Jackson. Born in Birmingham, he had lived in Jackson since 1935. He was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Wesley A. Caldwell of Jackson. Visitation is scheduled for Monday, May 7, 2012 from 11:00 am until 1:30 pm at Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home on High Street, Jackson.
He is survived by his son, John Caldwell, Jr. of Jackson and his daughter, Wendy Caldwell Nixon (Louis) of Ridgeland. Mr. Caldwell is also survived by his five beloved grandchildren: Jonathan Nixon, Kayla Caldwell, Nicole Nixon, Ashton Nixon, and Rosemary Caldwell. He is also survived by his niece Nancy Caldwell Purcell and nephew Kevin M. Caldwell. The family also wishes to gratefully acknowledge the long-time help of friend, pilot, and office manager Don Collins of Madison.
Mr. Caldwell was born October 7, 1927 in Birmingham, Alabama. After his family moved to Jackson, he attended Duling Elementary, Bailey Junior High, and Columbia Military School in Tennessee. He graduated from Central High School in Jackson in 1945. He graduated in 1951 with a degree in Civil Engineering from Mississippi State College.
After a brief introduction to the business world as a steel detailer for Republic Steel in Youngstown, Ohio, he was called home to Jackson by his father to help Contractors Material Company, his family's upstart reinforcing steel supply business. He worked there in sales, engineering, and management capacities until 1982, when he became President after the passing of his father. Under his leadership, the company increased its sales many times over, grew to include Baird Steel in Mobile, Alabama, and built a modern steel fabrication plant in Flowood. He remained active in these companies until just shortly prior to his passing.
Mr. Caldwell was a director of several local companies, including Standard Life Insurance Company and Deposit Guaranty National Bank. He was happy, and humbled, to have served as the lay Chairman of St. Dominic Hospital from 1971 until 1983.
He founded the charitable Wesley A. Caldwell Foundation to continue the family's longtime contributions to the community and the state of Mississippi. The foundation has provided substantial gifts to schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, nursing homes, and the arts, amongst others. Its most special relationship has always been with the Magnolia Speech School in Jackson, as Mr. Caldwell suffered hearing loss his entire life.
Mr. Caldwell found great joy in boating, pursuing it his entire life; from small crafts on the Barnett Reservoir in the 1960's to his later yachting on the Gulf. From a young bachelor to a proud father teaching his children the ropes, it was his passion. He was a Christian man and a lifelong believer in our Lord Jesus Christ.
He was preceded in death by his parents: Wesley A. Caldwell, Sr. and Augusta (Gussie) H. Caldwell. Also his brother Wesley A. (Cotton) Caldwell, Jr., and nephew Wesley A. Caldwell III. The family wishes to thank the caregivers at St. Dominic's and Baptist for their recent thoughtful care, and to Dr. Myron Lockey for decades of weekly sessions that allowed Dad to hear.
The family prefers memorials, in lieu of flowers, be made to either St. Dominic Hospital or Baptist Hospital in Jackson.
Published in Clarion Ledger on May 6, 2012