July 20, 1925 -
March 17, 2013
Midland, Georgia- A great American, and esteemed Soldier and Warrior, a devoted father and husband, an adored grandfather William B. Caldwell III, passed away this weekend at his home in Midland, Georgia.
Funeral services will be held 1:00 P.M. Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at St. Paul United Methodist Church with military honors and burial to follow at Main Post Cemetery, Ft. Benning, Georgia. The family will receive friends at General Caldwell's residence, 7200 Warm Springs Road, Midland, GA. today from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.
Bill Caldwell defied the adage that nice guys finish last. His life is testimony to that. Bill had a distinguished military career rising to the rank of Lt. General in the United States Army. He was highly respected and admired by all who knew him. Bill never met a person who didn't have some quality that could be favorably commented upon.
Bill married his first wife Tudy Dismuke while attending the Infantry Basic Officers course at Ft. Benning, Georgia in 1949. They had five wonderful children and a wonderful 32 years together. Their military assignments carried them throughout the United Sates and the world with postings to Ft. Riley, Kansas, West Point, New York, Japan, Korea, Germany, England, Denmark and Belgium. The five loving children who survive him are Dana Thor of Tiburon, CA, Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV of Fort Sam Houston, TX, Frederick D. Caldwell of Columbus, GA, Theresa Burton of Lynchburg, VA and Fontaine Jenkins of Columbus, GA. His family includes 14 beautiful grandchildren. Tudy passed away in 1981.
Through his military career Bill attended the Command and General Staff College of Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, England's United Kingdom Joint Staff College at Latimer, England, the National War College in Washington, DC and he earned a masters degree in International Relations at George Washington University in Washington, DC.
Several years after Tudy's passing away Bill married Dr. Robert Flowers widow, Elaine. With this union Bill became the stepfather to 3 wonderful sons, George, Tom and Dr. David Flowers all of Columbus, GA and the grandfather to their 9 beautiful children. They had 26 years together until Elaine passed away.
Three years ago Bill flew to Louisville, KY for dinner with the lovely Diane Frick Kinnaird and asked her to marry him several months later. The Caldwell family grew again with the addition of her 6 children and 12 grandchildren. Bill and Diane had three glorious years together until his sudden passing this weekend.
Bill seldom spoke of his military campaigns but he fought as Lt. platoon leader and Captain company commander and Battalion Executive Officer in Korea from 1950-1951. His was with the first unit to enter combat in that conflict and he was recognized for his gallantry by receiving 2 Silver Stars, 2 Bronze Stars for Valor, and the Purple Heart. During the Viet Nam conflict Bill commanded a the 1st Brigade in the Big Red One (1st Infantry Division) and again was recognized for his distinguished combat record by being awarded his third Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Republic of Vet Nam Cross of Gallantry. During his service to his country he received numerous other awards. His unit in both Korea and Viet Nam received the Presidential Unit Citation and award for their heroic efforts. Upon his retirement from the Army after 32 years he was presented the Distinguished Service Medal. Bill was also an avid golfer, hunter and fisherman. He first shot his age in golf at the age of 71 and continued to frequently do so until he was unable to play anymore at the age of 86.
Living in turbulent time Bill was truly a member of our country's Greatest Generation. He will be so missed by those who were fortunate to have known him and loved him.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the National Infantry Foundation, 1775 Legacy Way, Suite 220, Columbus, GA 31903.
Published in Columbus Ledger-Enquirer on Mar. 19, 2013
Arrangements under the direction of:
4071 Macon Road | Columbus, GA 31907 | (706) 563-2372