Harold Pendleton (Buddy) Caldwell, Jr. died peacefully in his sleep on April 3, 2016. He was loved by many and will be missed by many more. He was born at St Thomas Hospital on January 1, 1930 in Nashville, TN. He is preceded in death by his parents, Jane Farringer Caldwell and Harold Pendleton Caldwell (Tot), and his sister and brother, Jane Caldwell Harrub and Alexander Samuel Caldwell.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Martha Ann Barrick Caldwell and two children: Harold Pendleton (Susan) Caldwell, III and Edward Barrick (Paige) Caldwell; sister Dakie Caldwell (John) Cowan; grandchildren Kindall Caldwell, Kallie (Tyler) Hall, Casey Caldwell, Tanner Caldwell, and Sara Kennon Caldwell; more recent grandchildren Vanessa Freije (Danny) Bessner, Hope Freije, Nicholas Freije, Sophie Freije, and Ethan Freije. He is also survived by many caring and loving nieces and nephews.
Buddy spent his youth in Nashville attending Stokes Elementary and Hillsboro High School, followed by a stint at the General Motors Institute in Detroit, MI where he began to cut his teeth in the automobile business. He then proudly joined the Marine Corps to serve his country in the Korean War; upon completion of his time in the service, he was honorably discharged in Los Angeles, CA. Not having enough money to make it home, Buddy hitchhiked from California back to Nashville, where he enrolled in Vanderbilt University, joined Kappa Sigma fraternity, and earned his degree on the G.I. Bill.
In 1960 Buddy founded Caldwell Motors on Charlotte Ave, which became Caldwell Campers in 1969. In 1973 he moved the dealership to I-24 and Bell Road, soon to be the location of Hickory Hollow Mall. He became a top 10 dealer for Kountry Aire, Banner, Mobile Traveler, and Allegro motor homes and travel trailers. He won several sales award trips to the Bahamas, Las Vegas, and Greece. His slogan was “Our service is prompt, our parts are clean, our prices are fair, and our guard dog is mean!”
Buddy met his wife Martha Ann Barrick, who showed horses across the south for several years during high school, at a horse show in the fairgrounds pavilion. They married at Second Presbyterian Church in 1954 and attended Vanderbilt University together, where they were lifelong supporters of football, basketball, and all things Vandy – Go Dores! They lived near Radnor Lake where they had a barn next door and enjoyed riding horses with their sons for years, until the Radnor area was designated as a bird sanctuary and began to frown upon horses.
Martha Ann and Buddy started boating and waterskiing in the 1950’s on the Cumberland River and later moved to Old Hickory Lake, where they joined Cedar Creek Yacht Club in 1969. Buddy was a member of the board of directors and served as Commodore in 1993; he cherished his weekends on the Mop-O-Mop and Blue Pelican with family and friends, and especially liked the fact that boating and CCYC were a “fun and great environment for all ages”. He always looked forward to Sundays and Church By The Lake; he remained an active member and will be missed by his CCYC family.
Buddy and Martha Ann brought snow skiing to Nashville when they visited Aspen, CO in 1957, just 11 years after the resort had opened in 1946. They also enjoyed skiing in St Anton (Austria), Stowe, Sun Valley, Vail, Crested Butte, Beaver Creek, Steamboat Springs, and Park City, but their hearts never left Aspen. When Buddy often posed the question to an unassuming stranger or friend “how do you spell paradise”, he would get his trademark sly smile and answer his own question “A-S-P-E-N”. He and Martha Ann bought a condominium in Aspen in 1986 and spent much of their retirement there, enjoying snow skiing in winter, hiking in summer, and fellowship with family and friends year round.
Buddy and Martha Ann have been long time members of Hillwood Country Club, where they enjoyed playing golf and tennis, but their favorite part was definitely the post-match cocktail hour. Buddy was a self-described “average” tennis player (but he had a mean overhead, as long as he kept his eye on the ball!) and a “terrible” golfer. Nonetheless, he enjoyed the time outside playing golf and the quiet moments with his loving wife. When he could no longer play tennis, he enjoyed watching his daughter-in-law (Paige Caldwell) play singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. He would quietly cheer her on and then write her a post-match victory poem to celebrate – all in hopes of getting a home cooked meatloaf dinner from Paige in exchange for his constant support.
Buddy was a lifetime member of First Presbyterian Church. He spent his early years with the church at the downtown location but enjoyed most of his fellowship at First Presbyterian Church on Franklin Road. He was a regular at the 8:30 or 11:00 service, taught Sunday school, and was an active participant in several bible studies later in life.
Visitation will be in Courtney Hall, First Presbyterian Church, on April 8 from 2:00 to 4:00 with a memorial service to follow at 4:00. Burial will be private in the First Presbyterian Columbarium. In lieu of flowers please feel free to donate to Friends of Radnor Lake, the Nashville Humane Association (he was a lifelong animal lover), or First Presbyterian Church.
Buddy will be remembered as a man who loved his family and friends and always put others before himself. His happiest moments were spent with family where he enjoyed telling stories and singing the many songs that he wrote. His love, kindness, joyous spirit, humor, and quick wit will continue to bring joy to all those who were blessed enough to know him. His parting words were “It has been a wonderful life; I thank all my friends for sharing it with me, and I look forward to the next chapter.”
Nashville Funeral and Cremation
210 McMillin St
Nashville, TN 37203