A native of Johnson City, he was the son of the late William H. Caldwell and Etta King Frye and stepfather James Frye. He attended Boones Creek High School and was of the Baptist faith. Thurman had worked at Raytheon and was retired from ITT. He spent four years in the Navy and was proud to have served aboard the USS Saratoga, then several years in the Naval reserve.
He loved to cook and do woodworking that he gifted to his family. He enjoyed researching his ancestry and sharing stories with family and friends. He was lovingly known to his family by several nicknames- Grandaddy, Gran Gran, Grandpapaw and Grandaddy.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Viola Honeycutt Caldwell; son, Thurman “Gene” Caldwell, Jr., and wife, Becky of Johnson City; daughter, Tamela “Tami”Collins and husband, Jackie of Elizabethton; five grandchildren; Jason Caldwell and wife, Shaina of Johnson City, Cassie Minton and husband, Jonathan, Todd Caldwell and wife, McKenzie, Jacquelyn Collins and Macy Collins, step grandchildren, Davey Collins and wife, Tara, Dustin Collins and wife, Lindsey, all of Elizabethton; five great-grandchildren; Aubrie and Alex Caldwell, Sydney and Rylee Minton, Reid Caldwell and a sixth, Callie Anne Caldwell to be born in January; three step great-grandchildren; Aubrey, Logan and Emmie Collins; sister, Judy Tipton of Johnson City; and several nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends Wednesday January 2, 2019 from 11:30 A.M. to 1:30 P.M. at Appalachian Funeral Home, 800 E. Watauga Ave., Johnson City. TN 37601.
Graveside services with Military Honors conducted by the Carter County Honor Guard will follow the visitation at 1:45 P.M. in the Mountain Home National Cemetery with Rev. Larry Dugger officiating.
Pallbearers will be Jason Caldwell, Todd Caldwell, Jonathan Minton, Jackie Collins, Mickey Leonard, and Jordan Clark. Honorary bearers will be Dustin Collins, Davey Collins, and Alex Caldwell.
In lieu of flowers donation may be made to St. Jude’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 50, Memphis, TN 38101.
To leave an online condolence, please visit us @ wadugger.com.
Woodall Anderson Dugger Funeral Home, 108 W. Watauga Ave., Johnson City is serving the Caldwell family.