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James Caldwell


1940 - 2012 Obituary Condolences
James Caldwell Obituary
JAMES CALDWELL Jim Caldwell was born Jan. 7, 1940 to Edgar (Buzz) and Dorothy Caldwell on his maternal grandmother, Mae Messick's birthday. Jim spent his early years with his family on Granny Messick's farm in Sycamore, CA. His family moved to Broderick, CA when his father went to work for Southern Pacific Railroad in Sacramento. Jim's visits to his father in rail yards instilled in Jim a life long love of trains, both real and model. In the early '50's Jim's family moved to Grimes, where Jim graduated from Grand Island Elementary School and Pierce High School, where he made many life long friends. Living near the Sacramento river, Jim spent many hours swimming, water skiing, fishing and boating with friends. Jim passed these skills on to his sons, with Steve preferring swimming and water skiing and Todd becoming an avid boater and fisherman. Jim's career began in high school, when he went to work on Balsdon Ranch in Grimes. In 1962, Jim married Rochelle Lausten and moved to Williams, where their two sons, Steven and Todd were born. Jim went to work for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture ASCS office measuring fields for soil conservation. After entering and completing ASCS management program, Jim accepted his 1st management position and the family moved to Santa Rosa, where Jim managed the county office for Sonoma/Marin counties. Jim later became office manager of Yuba/Sutter counties. In 1980, Jim took the a assistant position for the soil conservation program specialist in the ASCS state office. Later he advanced to program specialist and in 1984, was the 1st specialist in the California office to receive the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture ASCS Administrator's Award for Distinguished Individual Achievement and in 1989, was a part of the personnel who received the same award for Distinguished Group achievement. Jim completed his career as administrative specialist, retiring in 1997, after 35 years with the U.S.D.A farm service agency, formerly known as ASCS. Throughout their marriage, Jim and Rochelle re-landscaped and worked to improve every place they had called home. Rochelle dreamed and Jim turned her dreams into realities. After his retirement, Jim loved his trips to Fort Bragg, where with his cousin and buddy, Sonny Larson and others, he worked to enhance the family property. Jim had a deep love of the coast and some of his most treasured memories were of teaching his children and grandchildren to find the treasures contained in the ocean's tidepools. After suffering a serious stroke in 2006, Jim and Rochelle moved to Chico, where Jim spent much time in physical therapy. Jim was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008 for the 2nd time. After radiation and chemo, he went into remission until early summer, when he learned it had mastisized. On Sept. 18, 2012 Jim succumed to complications due to the cancer, COPD and staph. Throughout his illnesses, Jim had maintained his sense of humor and his appreciation of who had helped care for him. When asked what he wanted to be remembered for he had answered, "Just that I was a good guy". Jim is so loved and missed by his wife of 50 years, Rochelle; sons, Steven (Rhonda) and Todd (Candi) Caldwell; and grandchildren, Adrienne, Taylor, Morgan, Tara and Tristan Caldwell; his mother, Dorothy Bowden; brothers, Gene and Gib Caldwell; as well as many nieces and nephews. He is also missed by Rochelle's extensive family, who considered Jim one of their own. Jim was preceded in death by his father, Edgar (Buzz) and his brother, John. Jim was cremated and requested no services. Jim wished any donations in his honor be sent to the . Jim, you accomplished your final goal. You will be remembered not only as a "good guy" but as a hardworking guy with a great smile that came from the heart.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Jan. 7, 2013
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