The Very Rev. Fr. Charles Francis Caldwell, Ph.D Naples, FL
Fr. Charles Caldwell died surrounded by his family under the care of Vitas Inpatient Hospice at Physician's Regional Medical Center on September 12, 2012.
He was born on May 5, 1935 in DeLand, FL and lived in Orange City, FL until age 10. He then moved with his family to DeLand, FL. In his youth he was a boy scout who attained the rank of Eagle Scout with Palms. In High School he was a member of the band and was Band Captain. He graduated from the University of Florida with High Honors and Phi Beta Kappa. He was also honored with Phi Kappa Phi earlier in his college career. His degree was a BA in History.
He then attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL graduating from there with a Bachelor of Divinity degree. Between his middler and senior years he was awarded a Danforth Fellowship and studied at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY for one year. He then returned to Seminary for his senior year and graduated receiving his degree.
He was ordained a Deacon in 1961 and ordained a Priest in the Episcopal Church in 1962. He was Curate/Priest-inCharge at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Tampa, FL from 1961 to 1964 and Rector at St. Mary of the Angels - Pine Castle (Orlando), FL from 1964 to 1966. At St. Barnabas, Deland, FL he was Assistant and Chaplain at Stetson University from 1966 to 1969. Afterwards he was Vicar at Gloria Dei, Cocoa, FL from 1969 to 1974. During this period of his life he also attended The University of the South in Sewanee, TN and received his STM (Master of Sacred Theology) degree in 1970.
He then studied and graduated from The University of Notre Dame receiving a Ph.D in Pastoral Theology in 1978. While attending Notre Dame he served numerous parishes in the Diocese of Northern Indiana from 1974 to 1979. Upon receiving his Ph.D he also taught several undergraduate courses at Notre Dame as a Visiting Assistant Professor from 1977 to 1978.
He was a member of the Dutch and American Pastoral Theologians and attended meetings in the Netherlands and this country. He then took up a position as Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology teaching students who were studying for the Roman Catholic priesthood at St. Meinrad School of Theology (Roman Catholic) in St. Meinrad, IN from 1979 to 1982.
He also served as Vicar of two Episcopal Churches from 1982 to 1985 at St. Thomas Church in Salem. IL and St. John's Church in Centralia, IL and was Dean of the Eastern Deanery in the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield, IL. His last position was as Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology at Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary in Nashotah, WI for ten years. During his time at Nashotah House, the House selected him to attend the meeting of American and African Theologians held in Zimbabwe, Africa. His worsening, serious health conditions contributed to his retiring at age 60 years on disability. He retired with his family to Naples, FL.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years Eleanor Marguerite Trump Caldwell. Four children were born to them who also survive him: Catherine Frances McNair, Margaret Teresa Caldwell, Stephen Joseph Caldwell, and William Mark Charles Caldwell. Also surviving him are five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; two sisters Mrs. Joanne (Stewart) Herring and Mrs. Marion (Dan) Hecker, and five nieces and 1 nephew.
He was also the author of numerous published papers and two books: "Pastoral Theological Hermeneutics: A Quest for Method" in 1978 and "Head and Glory" in 1995.
Many people benefited from his counseling, many were inspired by his sermons, and many were moved and found faith as he witnessed to the glory and goodness of God in the midst of his many and long tribulations with serious illness including his first bout with cancer during which he lost a leg but survived.
After years of prayer, study, and struggle, Caldwell was received by Chrismation into the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church on September 3, 2012.
Many thanks to Vitas Hospice for their compassionate care and to his good and faithful doctors throughout the years - Dr. Daniel Morris, Dr. Herman Spilker, Dr. Sinan Gursoy, Dr. Giuseppe Guaitoli, and Dr. Kendall Wise.
Services will be conducted by The V. Rev. Joseph Huneycutt of St. Joseph Antiochian Orthodox Church, Houston, TX, a former student of Fr. Caldwell's on September 18 at 2:00 p.m., at Hodges Funeral Chapel with visitation beginning at 1:00 p.m. Burial services will follow at Naples Memorial Gardens.
"He has fought the good fight, he has kept the faith, he has finished the course, henceforth there is laid up for him a crown of glory" (2 Timothy 4:7f).