Robert W. Caldwell, 85, of 12797 State Route 29, St. Marys, died at 9:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, at Joint Township District Memorial Hospital in St. Marys.
He was born on July 22, 1928, in Toledo, the son of Clarence and Thelma (Ashton) Caldwell.
He married Mary Ann Minch on Oct. 9, 1954, and she preceded him in death on Dec. 18, 2013.
He is survived by his three children, Bill Caldwell of St. Marys; Sharon Anderson of Wichita, Kansas; and Brenda (Bryan) Ridings of Wapakoneta. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Nikki Fannon Shaner, Belinda Coffey, Jesse (Mollie) Fannon, Tia Caldwell, Wade Caldwell, Geoff Anderson, by four great-grandchildren, Larz (Kaila) Weber, LaFern Shaner, Malachi Shaner, Skylar Caldwell, by a great-great-grandson, Larz Weber Jr., by a sister, Marvel Thomas of St. Marys and by a brother, Walter (Shirley) Caldwell of Tilford, Penn.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, a daughter, Debra Fannon, siblings Margaret Lininger, Jack Caldwell, Jerry Caldwell and Albert Binkley.
Robert was a retired veteran of the U.S. Navy. He served his entire career in the Submarine Service of the Navy, and was part of the crew of the USS Seadragon, a skate-class submarine. On Aug. 21, 1960, the sub made history, becoming the first submarine to transit the Northwest Passage to reach the North Pole. The ship surfaced on Aug. 25, and the crew played a game of softball on the North Pole. The ship and its crew received the Navy Unit Commendation for their work.
After retirement from the Navy, Robert worked at Superior Metal in Wapakoneta, where he also retired. He was a life member of VFW Post 9289 in St. Marys. He loved going fishing and being with his two dogs. He spent lots of time with his grandchildren and enjoyed St. Marys Roughrider football games.
Funeral rites will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Miller Funeral Home, 1605 Celina Road, St. Marys, the Rev. Dr. Ed Bray, officiant.
Burial, with full military honors, will follow at Resthaven Memory Gardens.
Friends may call from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home, where memorial gifts may be given to either the Auglaize County Humane Society or to VFW Post 9289 Women’s Auxiliary.
Condolences may be sent to Robert’s family via MillerFuneralHomes.net.