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Stanton Caudle


1920 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Stanton Caudle Obituary
Stanton Caudle

Memphis, TN

Stanton Caudle (b. 11/8/1920), one of the last survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor, died on July 4, 2017 at the age of 96 at the Tennessee State Veterans Home in Humboldt, TN. Caudle entered the Navy in December 1939 and served throughout the Pacific Theater during the Second World War. In 1941 he was stationed at Kaneohe Naval Air Station, where he served with VP-12 "The Original Black Cat Squadron" on PBY Catalina Seaplanes. On December 7, 1941 the seaplane base at Kaneohe Bay was attacked several minutes prior to Pearl Harbor itself, so that they could not be used in a counter-attack. 18 servicemen died at Kaneohe Bay and 27 of 36 Catalinas were destroyed. He served in the Japanese Occupation, Korean War and Cold War until 1960, when he retired from the US Navy with the rank of Chief Petty Officer.

Caudle and his wife, Bonnie Louise Robbins (m. 1951, 1912-1992), settled in Memphis, TN in 1961. He graduated from Memphis State with a Bachelor of Science in 1965. Caudle, known to friends and family as Steve, Stan or Chief, had a direct sense of humor, and was kind and generous. He and Bonnie opened their home to friends and family, and cared for several family members, including his brother Roy and Bonnie's relatives Ronnie, Danny and Karen Gilbert among many others. Caudle had a passion for gardening and had a thriving vegetable garden until his early 90s. Upon his retirement from Tasty Bakery after over 20 years of service, Caudle continued to work as a maintenance man in Memphis. He helped friends and acquaintances, even if they couldn't pay him for the work. He was always ready to help anyone in need.

After the death of his first wife Bonnie, Caudle had the great fortune to meet and marry Sylvia Tapp (m. 2002, 1923-June 2, 2017). They both delighted in traveling and exploring the world, and made the most of their time together. They had the opportunity to visit Hawaii on the 60th and 65th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and traveled all over the United States together. Sylvia's daughter Denise cared for them both in their later years, and he enjoyed sharing stories of his time in the Navy and at Pearl Harbor with her.

Caudle was born in Brilliant, AL and was predeceased by his parents, his siblings Harold (1922-1989), Roy (1924-1998), Phyllis (1929-1932), and Billy (1933-1959); his stepson Robert (1938-2015) and stepdaughter Mary (1930-1994); and his stepson Steve Tapp (1949-2014). He is survived by his brother Jim (wife Helen); his daughter-in-law Diane; his stepdaughter Denise Tapp; his foster daughter Karen Gilbert Henley (husband Martin); his foster son Danny Gilbert; his grandchildren Curt, Dawn, Angela, Richard (wife Dana), and Annette (husband Wes Sutherland); his foster grandson D.J.; and his great-grandchildren Rachel, Owen and Henry Sutherland, and Mia and Avery Ferguson; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a visitation and graveside service at Forest Hill Funeral Home and Memorial Park in Memphis, TN, at 1:00 PM on July 14, 2017. Arrangements by Forest Hill Funeral Home and Memorial Park in Memphis, TN. To view and sign the family guest book, please visit https://obittree.com/obituary/us/tennessee/memphis/forest-hill-funeral-home-and-memorial-park/stanton-caudle/2975047/.
Published in The Commercial Appeal on July 13, 2017
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