Charles Elza Caldwell
Sunday, May 9th, 2021. Beloved husband of Marcella Adelia Augusta (nee Pannier), dear father of Gayle (Rusty) Newman and Dennis Caldwell, dear grandfather of Bridget Allen, Jason (Chelsea) Newman, Charles K. (Carol) Caldwell, Casie (Rodger) Caldwell-Hendrick, Marcie (Alex) Casolari, dear great-grandfather of Madi, Teegan and Taytum Allen, Macey, Autumn, Sierra, and Charlotte Caldwell, Angelo and Leonzo Casolari, and Olivia Newman.
Charles was born November 12, 1926 in Belleville, Illinois, baptized December 5, 1926 at Zion Lutheran Church Belleville, Illinois by Rev. Theo Stiegemeyer, confirmed April 2, 1939 at Zion Lutheran Church Belleville, Illinois by Rev. C. Thomas Spitz.
Memory verse: Ps. 111, v 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding has all they that do His commandments; His praise endures forever.
Married July 4, 1948 at Zion Lutheran Church Belleville, Illinois by Rev. C. Thomas Spitz.
Charles began his educational career in Belleville, Illinois Public Schools. He graduated from Belleville Township High School. His special studies included University of Missouri St. Louis, Northeastern University, U.S. DOT Management course, Bailey Technical School, Rankin Trade School, GMC Training Schools in air conditioning, diesel engine, transmission and electrical.
After serving our country in WWII in the Merchant Marines on the Sea Cat in the South Pacific, Guam, Fiji, and the Philippines, Charles’s employment career began at Southwestern Bell Telephone Company as a cable splicer. Ferguson-Broadway Bus Lines, Inc. hired him as Supervisor of Body Department and mechanical repair. Next, Citizens Coach Co., Inc. and Brown Motor Lines, Inc. acquired by Ferguson-Broadway hired him as Superintendent of Maintenance in charge of 40 buses, repairs, services, maintenance, inventory, personnel, cost analysis, efficiency, and productivity. Bi-State Development Agency acquired Ferguson-Broadway and employed Charles as the Body and Paint Shop Foreman where he had complete responsibility for all accident repair, painting, upholstering etc., for a fleet of 1,000 buses. He transferred to Brake Shop Foreman in charge of brake maintenance, brake systems and components for a fleet of 850. His promotion to Superintendent of Division Maintenance meant maintenance for a fleet of 1,000, supervision of 9 foremen, 71 mechanics, 67 service personnel and labor disputes. He joined American Transit Corporation, a nation-wide company, as Director of Maintenance for 30 Transit properties throughout the United States. At American Transit, he supervised maintenance for a fleet of 1800 buses, made inspections of properties, evaluated 30 superintendents, and 60 foremen. Charles returned to Bi-State Transit System as Superintendent of Stations Maintenance for a fleet of 1,000 buses, supervision of 21 foremen, 111 mechanics, and 101 service personnel. In addition, his responsibilities included all fleet maintenance, requisition approvals, interview all applicants, submit budgets, and assist in labor disputes in all divisions. Prior to retirement, Charles was employed by Southern Cross Lumber and Millwork Co. responsible for all repairs and maintenance of a fleet of 52 trucks, 26 forklifts, and 46 trailers. Additionally, he oversaw all purchasing, invoices, specifications, and payment. Personnel under his direction were 6 mechanics, 3 utility men, throughout two eight-hour shifts.
Activities Charles enjoyed with family and friends were water skiing, boating, snow skiing, square dancing, ballroom dancing, and video photography. He was a member of Zion Lutheran Church Ferguson, Mo. where he served a Walther League Sponsor. Member of King of Kings Lutheran Church in Chesterfield, Mo. where he was a board member, offering counter, participated in Koinonia and game groups.
Services: Visitation and funeral service will be held Friday, May 14 at King of Kings Lutheran Church, 13765 Olive Blvd. Visitation at 10 a.m. with the service to follow at 11 a.m. Interment Valhalla Gardens of Memory, Belleville, Illinois. Contributions to King of Kings Lutheran Church or Ascend Hospice, 4550 West 109th Street, Suite 210, Overland Park, KS 66211, Attn: Andrea Green appreciated