William Robert (Bob) Caldwell, 81, of Deer Park, MD, passed away on December 28, 2022, at Garrett Regional Medical Center, Oakland, MD.
Born February 16, 1941, in Keyser, WV, he was the son of the late Richard Dittmar Caldwell and Helen Margaret (Ashby) Caldwell. He was also preceded in death by two brothers, James A. Caldwell and Richard C. Caldwell; two sisters, Joan Brown and Helen Jean Brown; and one grandson, Andy Shockey.
“Billy Bob” was a 1959 graduate of Keyser High School. He worked briefly in forestry in Mineral County, WV before going to work in 1962 for MeadWestvaco Corporation in Luke, MD as a roll wrapper at the paper mill. In January 1964, Bob took a brief leave from the mill to serve his country as a member of the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas until deploying with the First Infantry Division in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged in January 1966 with the rank of Private First Class E3 (Battery C 8th Battalion 6th Artillery), having received the Expert M14 Rifle award and Vietnam Service Medal.
Upon his return to civilian life, Bob resumed working at the Luke paper mill as a roll finisher, retiring after 45 years of dedicated service in May 2007. Bob was a master “Mr. Fixit” who could fix just about anything mechanical with a little elbow grease, some colorful language, and amazing ingenuity. On many occasions when something would break down at the paper mill, he’d find a way to get things up and running again, and he was frequently called upon by coworkers at the mill when they needed help with a mechanical problem, even after his retirement.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Bob and his wife opened their home to many different foster children, and were dedicated and loving parents to every child in their care.
Bob loved fishing and hunting for history with his metal detector. True or not, he had a story for everything he found and enjoyed sharing those stories and showing his finds to friends and family. He also did a mean Donald Duck impersonation, and would entertain kids young and old by singing “Happy Birthday,” or “Jesus Loves Me” in his Donald Duck voice.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Marion E. (Cox) Caldwell; three daughters, Brenda K. Caldwell, Fort Ashby, WV; Amy L. Prochazka, Kill Devil Hills, NC & son-in-law Darren Prochazka; Diane Goller & husband Mark, Swanton, MD; one son, Joseph R. “Bobby” Garrett, Friendsville, MD & daughter-in-law Melinda Garrett; three brothers, John C. Caldwell and Thomas N. Caldwell, both of Burlington, WV, and Douglas Caldwell, Keyser, WV; four grandchildren, Seth E. and William A. Prochazka; and Steven and Jeremy Shockey.
Friends will be received at Newman Funeral Homes, P.A., 1100 Memorial Drive, Oakland, MD, 21550, on Monday, January 2, 2023 from 2:00-4:00pm and 6:00-8:00pm, and at the Deer Park United Methodist Church, 81 Church Street, Oakland, MD 21550 on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 from 10:00-11:00am. The funeral service will follow at 11:00am with Pastors Barbara Rexroad and Thomas Caldwell officiating. Interment will be at Deer Park Cemetery.
Expressions of sympathy may be directed to Deer Park United Methodist Church, 81 Church Street, Oakland, MD 21550.
Condolences may be sent to his family at www.newmanfuneralhomes.com.
Newman Funeral Homes, P.A., 1100 Memorial Dr., Oakland, is assisting his family with arrangements.