Rev. Fr. Charles Caldwell
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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).

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Published in Naples Daily News on Sep. 16, 2012.
Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
September 12, 2020
We still miss "Charlie" walking by our house every day and stopping for a friendly upbeat chat. Often we would go sit on the bench for a nice discussion on any topic. He left a void in our lives and we are so happy to have known him!!
Alfred and Nancy Stavole
September 29, 2012
St. Luke tells us the words of the Angels in the empty tomb, "Why seek ye the living among the dead?" I believe this is true of Fr. Caldwell he is not among the dead but lives this day with the King of Glory. Do we miss him? Of course we do, even Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus, but Charles knew Jesus to be the Resurrection, so I bid you rejoice for his freedom from cancer and his laughter and smiling in the presence of Our Lady and Her Son and all the saints in light. May we all look forward to that day when we will be together again in the heavenly country where there is no more sorrow, sighing, tears or dying but eternal life and joy. I give God thanks for the gift of his servant Charles and all that he helped me to understand. May light perpetual shine upon him. Amen.
David Cardona
September 23, 2012
Fr. Caldwell is remembered quite fondly by the members of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Salem. He was vicar when my husband and I started attending there and guided me through the confirmation process. May he rest in peace and rise in glory. Sue Davis
Sue Davis
September 22, 2012
Dei Gratias for Fr. Caldwell's ministry at Nashotah House. He was a shining example of the Catholic priestly life within Anglicanism.
September 22, 2012
My condolences to the Caldwell family, and to all of Fr. Caldwell's friends and students. He was a powerful influence on my and my journey, and I am very grateful to God for him. May God grant him eternal rest with all the saints.
Michael LaRue
September 18, 2012
With appreciation for all that Fr. Caldwell did through his many years of work, sacrifice, and struggle. His teaching and guidance was invaluable. May his memory be eternal! Our love and prayers are with you now and always.
Kh Elizabeth, Mary Catherine, Basil Caldwell, and Helen Huneycutt
Kh Elizabeth Huneycutt
September 17, 2012
We will miss Charles very much. We enjoyed having him as our neighbor. We had many long pleasurable chats through the years. He was a very sweet, kind man who we will always remember. Our condolences to his wonderful family.
Alfred & Nancy Stavole
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