Robert Henry Caldwell died peacefully at home on September 21, 2020, on Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. Bob, a man of many nicknames, was known affectionately as GrandBob, Jolly Bob, “Does as Pleases”, Big Bob, and Busy Timmy.
Born in Chattanooga, on June 3, 1924, Bob attended Lookout Mountain Elementary School. He graduated from McCallie School, receiving the Grayson Medal for Best All-Round Student and the Stephens Medal for Best Athlete. He served three and a half years in World War II in Field Artillery and the Third Army. In 1947, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree,with honors, from Princeton University, where he played on the varsity tennis team and was a member of Cap and Gown Club.
For 27 years, Bob was executive vice president of Modern Maid, a producer of built-in gas and electric ranges. He later served as president and board chariman of Professional Golf Company in Chattanooga, maker of First Flight and Arnold Palmer golf clubs, as well as a stockbroker and investment manager.
Bob was an active member of the Chattanooga community, involved with various local education, environmental, and civic boards for many years. He was Chairman of Chattanooga United Way’s Alexis De Tocqueville Society, Founding Chairman of Chattanooga’s United Way Leadership Club, and a recipient of the De Tocqueville Society’s distinguished “National Member de Extraordinaire” Fleur-de-Lis Award. He was a member of the Young Presidents and the World Presidents Organizations.
Along with his family, Bob’s true passions were tennis and the outdoors. He won numerous Southern Senior Tennis Championship titles and numerous United States Senior Golf titles over the years.
Not only was he a champion on the tennis court and golf course, he was also a champion of many causes dear to his heart. Bob enjoyed creating value and beauty in nature’s environment. In the 1950’s, he developed Brow Lake Community on Lookout Mountain, which provided many young families a gathering place for sports, swimming, and other outdoor activities. He was a founding member of the civic group that initiated the Tennessee Aquarium. In the Tennessee River Gorge, he created the not-for-profit Tennessee River Gardens, a botanical wildflower garden, fern trail, and wildlife preserve. One of Bob’s greatest joys was gathering at Tennessee River Gardens and Caldwell Lake with family and friends, a place where he found boundless inspiration and energy.
Most importantly, he was loved by all who knew him. Friends, family, and employees alike remember him as a compassionate, energetic, curious, intelligent, generous, and active person. He made those who knew him feel they were valued and unique. His love and belief in those nearest to him will live on as one of his greatest legacies.
He is survived by three daughters: Betsy Dalgliesh, Chris Zimmerman, and Sherry (Dudley) West, and six grandchildren, William Caldwell, Caldwell (Ashley) Zimmerman, Elizabeth Zimmerman, Russell (Justine) Zimmerman, Betsy West, and Mary West. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sherry; his son, Bobby; his son-in-law, Jay Dalgliesh; and his grandson, Mack West.
Special thanks to Hearth Hospice and Ardent Senior Care for their kindness and unwavering support.
A burial in the Harriet Caldwell Garden at Church of the Good Shepherd will be announced at a later date. If you would like to pay respects to Bob, you are invited to drop a remembrance flower into Caldwell Lake on Sept. 26, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Contributions in Bob’s honor may be made to Tennessee River Gardens or a nature conservancy of your choice.