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John Franklin Caldwell was born April 2, 1926, to Verne N. and Hannah B. Caldwell on the Old Hoff Ranch up the White River, east of Meeker, Colo., and passed away on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, at the age of 88, at the VA Nursing Home in Rifle, Colo.
John’s early years were spent living in Meeker, the family moving to Grand Junction, Colo., in 1941. They ranched near Whitewater, Colo.
After graduating from Grand Junction High School in 1944, John worked on the ranch until the winter of 1945, when he entered the U.S. Army, being stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. There, he joined the 82nd Airborne Paratroop Division, learning how to fold parachutes, and also made his first of several jumps.
Following the service, John worked at several jobs, including in the oil field, uranium mining, construction and trucking, finally retiring from work at the test site north of Las Vegas, Nev.
In 1959, John married Colleen Stevenson. They had one son, Verne H. Caldwell, who now lives in Boise, Idaho. Grandchildren are: Travis John (Amanda) Caldwell, of Boise, Kristin (Nicholas) Hawkins of Sandpoint, Idaho and Kevin Caldwell of Boise; great-grandsons, Justin and Christian Caldwell.
John will be missed by: his sisters, Ruth DeVore of Fruita, Colo., and Rachel Palmer of Rangely, Colo.; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends who rode with him on many wild rides in his Jeep and later years in his Argo, which traveled even in Lake Avery at a family reunion.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. on Oct. 11, 2014, at the Episcopal Church at 368 4th St. in Meeker with the Rev. Scott Hollenbeck officiating.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Disabled Veterans Association.