Caldwell, L. Hardwick, Jr.

World War II Veteran Was Lifelong Lookout Mountain Resident, Former President Of McCallie Board

  • Monday, October 26, 2015
L. Hardwick Caldwell, Jr.
L. Hardwick Caldwell, Jr.

L. Hardwick Caldwell, Jr., received the gift of life on March 3, 1923, and the gift of eternal life on October 25, 2015. He died at his Lookout Mountain home at age 92.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Harriet Chandlee Caldwell in 1989.

He is survived by their five children: Hacker (Kitty), Ted (Beth), Charlotte (Jeffrey), Mark (Ann) and Tina (Sam), 16 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brothers, Bob (91) and Bill (90) and a large extended family.

He was, and his family remains, very blessed with his second marriage to Betsy, who brought into the fold two stepsons, Zach (Auburn) and Ned (Kurt), and four step-grandchildren. Betsy has been steadfast by his side for 25 years and he loved and adored her until his last breath.

He resided his whole life on Lookout Mountain, the descendant of a Caldwell line here since 1782. He was a member of Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church and attended Lookout Mountain School. He graduated from McCallie School, and would later serve as president of McCallie's board of trustees. He was a graduate of Dartmouth College, Class of 1944, but did not receive his diploma until later, as he and his entire class departed to serve our country in World War II. 

He was both proud and humbled to have served as a naval aviator, as had his father before him in World War I. After receiving his commission and wings, he flew the carrier-based F4U Corsair. He shared a deep kinship with and love for his Greatest Generation peers, and all patriot veterans who followed. 

After World War II, he returned to work for his family's manufacturing business, Tennessee Stove Works. He grew that business substantially and was loyal to and grateful for his many employees, "our people" as he would say. He devoted much time and energy to making our Chattanooga community a better place for all, especially through many civic and social organizations including United Way and Chattanooga Community Kitchen. 

He was known to his friends as "Hardy" or "Hardrock," and he is remembered and admired most not for his considerable accomplishments but for his character and love of people. His friends were lifelong and nationwide. He inherited his own father's abundance of wit, which he displayed until his last days. He was never idle and always an encourager. He was an eternal optimist and lived for the next sunrise.

He was a competitive sportsman. In his younger days he was an outstanding tennis player until his knees failed him. He was an outstanding golfer until his legs failed him. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and photography. In retirement he loved to travel with Betsy. They both thrived among friends at their winter Ocean Reef, Florida retreat, where they were formidable croquette partners.

His life was framed by McCallie School's motto: "Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever." 

His family is grateful for all those who have been so helpful with him in recent years as his health was failing, and especially in the last months of his life. 

A memorial service in his honor will be held at Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28. The family will receive friends in the LMPC Fellowship Hall at 10 a.m. A reception will follow the service at Lookout Mountain Golf Club. His remains will be interred in a private service at the Harriet Caldwell Garden at Good Shepherd Church.

Memorial gifts would be welcomed by McCallie School's Caldwell Chair of Christian Ethics, the Community Kitchen or the service organization of your choice. 

Visit www.heritagefhchattanooga.com to share words of comfort to the family.

Heritage Funeral Home East Brainerd Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

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