Dr. Benjamin Hubbard Caldwell Jr.
Dr. Benjamin Hubbard Caldwell Jr., born May 1, 1935 in the small West Tennessee town of Humboldt to Thelma Jackson Caldwell and Benjamin Hubbard Caldwell, died May 8, 2017, following a long illness. He was preceded in death by his sister Sylvia Caldwell Hills. He is survived by his wife of 58 wonderful years, Gertrude Sharp Caldwell and children Trudy Caldwell Byrd (Will), Sarah Caldwell Hedrick, and Benjamin Hubbard Caldwell, III (Lael); six grandchildren: Susannah Scott Byrd, Henry Harrison Byrd, Ian Caldwell Hedrick (Molly), Amy Xuemei Hedrick, Isabel Lael Caldwell and Benjamin Edward Caldwell; five godchildren; fifteen nieces and nephews; his sister, Suzanne Caldwell Labry; and many dear friends.
Dr. Caldwell graduated from Humboldt High School as valedictorian in 1953. He entered Vanderbilt University and, after three years, went to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
He was drafted and, in 1962, as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, became Commanding officer of Second Hospital Company, Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. He returned to Nashville in 1963 to complete his residency at Vanderbilt and became Chief Resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1965.
He established a successful private practice and taught at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He loved the practice of OB/GYN and felt he was lucky to care for people at such a happy time in their lives. By the time he retired from obstetrics in 1990, he had delivered over 8,500 babies. He continued to practice medicine until 2000.
Hall things Southern, including paintings, plants, trees, furniture, folk art, baskets, quilts, carvings, and silver.
When he arrived in Nashville in 1953, Dr. Caldwell first had the opportunity to visit a museum. The experience was deeply meaningful, and sparked his desire to make art more accessible to others; his copius collecting gave him the means. In 1994 he was a catalyst for renovating the Humboldt city hall building to create the West Tennessee Regional Art Center, donating a significant collection of paintings, prints, drawings, photographs and sculptures. For this support, he and his wife were given the Tennessee Arts Commission Governor’s Arts Award..
A celebration of Dr. Caldwell’s life was held on Friday, May 12, 2017 at Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville, Tennessee. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be sent to West Tennessee Regional Art Center, 1200 East Main Street, Humboldt, Tennessee 38343 and Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, 1200 Forrest Park Drive, Nashville, Tennessee 37205.