Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Obituary -- Denzil Caldwell 1933-2015

Denzil Van Caldwell was born March 9, 1933 at Sheridan, the son of Maynard and Wilma (Wilson) Caldwell. He passed away September 4, 2015 at Willow Care Nursing Home of Willow Springs with his family at his side and is now safely in the arms of Jesus.

Denzil attended school in the small northwest Missouri town of Sheridan where he graduated in 1951. He was drafted into the Army and served two years at the end of the Korean War. Later, he worked on the railroad while pursuing his college education on the GI Bill. After graduating from Northwest Missouri State with a BS in Education, he worked for Phillips Petroleum Company out of Omaha and was later transferred to Denver (CO). There, he met his future wife, Lois Patton Caldwell. He then pursued and received his Masters Specialist Degree from Central Missouri State at Warrensburg. After graduating, he became a high school principal at Gallatin, followed by several years as principal at Branson. In 1979, he became the high school principal at Willow Springs (MO), where he continued his career until his retirement in 1992. He also worked for two years as Superintendent at Koshkonong (MO).

Denzil was an outstanding athlete in high school, playing basketball, softball, and track. In college, he competed on the Northwest track team and held the conference record in the high jump for many years. He loved hunting quail and deer, fishing, reading his Bible, watching the St. Louis Cardinals, and traveling. By far, trout fishing was his favorite hobby. Above all, he loved his family, was a great husband, and father to son Craig Martin and daughter Julie Jo, and grandson Lincoln Craig. He also loved special daughters Annikki Chamberlain, Heidi Chamberlain Leahy, and Beka Chamberlain Kangas and his special grandchildren Taylor, Ryann, and Mason Kangas. His students were always near and dear to his heart and he was affectionately known around the school as “Big D.”

Denzil and Lois traveled every winter for fourteen years to the Coastal Bend of Texas where he fished in the Gulf and met many new friends. He followed his daughter to many marathon races in Chicago, Springfield (MO), Hawaii, Austin (TX), New Hampshire, and Maine. Camping at Norfolk Lake in Arkansas and traveling to the western states and Alaska also brought many years of fun and enjoyment.

Denzil was a born again Christian attending Trinity Baptist Church in Willow Springs. He was never shy about sharing his faith or praying with a student, family, or close friends. He will always be remembered for encouraging loved ones to always “keep praying.”

He was survived by his wife of 51 years, Lois Patton Caldwell, daughter Julie Jo of Springfield, and grandson Lincoln Craig Caldwell; brothers Derril of Maryville, Richard and wife Mary of Sheridan, and Douglas and wife Paula of Greenfield (IA) and one sister, Donna Scheer of Wayward (WI). He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant sister, and a son, Craig Martin.

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