On November 4, 2012, at 10:00 am, James Stafford Caldwell is now in the arms of his Heavenly Father whom he loved and served throughout his life. He was 89 years young.
Stafford was born June 24, 1923, Jasper, FL and was the ninth child of Ben M. Caldwell and Tobitha Clardy Caldwell, with two brothers and six sisters.
He enlisted and served in the Army Air Force 1943-1946 in WWII. He returned home and married “the love of his life” Nora Evelyn Scaff of Jasper, Florida on July 6, 1947.
After service he attended Abraham Baldwin Forestry College in Tifton, Georgia and the University of Florida Forestry School. He obtained his pilot license, was elected and served as chair of the Jasper Council and served as Acting Mayor, Jasper, FL. He owned the Jasper Newspaper of Hamilton County which was founded by his grandfather, John Madison Caldwell.
Stafford moved to Gainesville, Florida with his wife Evelyn and daughters and began his 35 year career with the Gainesville Sun. He began his career on November 24, 1954 when the Gainesville Sun was still Pepper Printing Company. His first job was publishing the Florida Alligator. There were 55 employees. He retired from the Gainesville Sun as news Graphic Supervisor in 1988.
Stafford was a lifelong Mason. In 1942, he joined the John M. Caldwell Grand Lodge No. 70, in Jasper, Florida which was named after his grandfather.
Stafford was a member of York Rites, Gainesville, Florida and the 32nd Degree Scottish Rites, Ocala, Florida and a Charter Member of Veteran Foreign Wars Post 8095 in Jasper, Florida
Stafford enjoyed fishing, camping and canoeing with his brothers and grandsons. His grandsons still reminisce about when they used to go canoeing with their PaPa. His love for children was evident when he was Santa Clause at his daughter’s day care center for thirty-five years.
Stafford was a member of Highlands Presbyterian Church for 48 years and served on the session, as an Elder, Worship Committee, Communion Director, Finance Committee and always gave his heart- felt support and devotion to the church, members and the late Reverend William E. “Bill” Shea.
Stafford and Evelyn are members of Grace Presbyterian Church and has been their home of worship for the last ten years where he continued his heartfelt devotion and support to the church, members and Minister Reverend Richard Palmer. The church members, Reverend Palmer and the fellowship and friendships at Grace Presbyterian Church have been a special blessing.
Stafford was preceded in death by his parents, Ben M. Caldwell and Tobitha Clardy Caldwell, one brother and four sisters and son-n-law (Bill Young). Stafford is survived by and will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Evelyn, daughters, Noralyn Jones (Cary V. Jones), Jamie Hill (Cary Duane Hill), Susan Williams (Bill Williams), of Gainesville, FL, Connie Smith (Woody Smith) of Williston, FL and Glenda Young of Homeland, FL, 14 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren and two sisters Jerri Brooke and Martha Mitchell, and one brother Carlton Caldwell.
Stafford has stated, “I have been blessed to have the fellowship friendships in my church of worship, and blessed to have the love of my life, my wife Evelyn, my five daughters, and grandchildren during my life!”
Funeral Services for Stafford Caldwell will be held Thursday, November 8, 2012, 11:00 a.m. at Grace Presbyterian Church, 3146 NW 13 Street, Gainesville, Florida.
As a veteran of WWII, Stafford’s wish was to have a military burial and interment in The Forest Meadows Military Garden of Honor on Hawthorne Road in Gainesville, FL.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Haven Hospice, 4200 NW 90 Blvd, Gainesville, FL 32606 or John M. Caldwell Grand Lodge No. 70, P. O. Box 85, Jasper, FL 32052, C/O Louis Hans.