Ernest Caldwell

Obituary of Ernest Leroy Caldwell

Ernest “Ernie” Caldwell Ernie Caldwell, age 85, passed away peacefully on March 10, 2022 at the home he built for his family in Larkin Township. He graduated from Midland High School, was an Army Veteran, and attended Delta College. He enjoyed a long career at Dow Chemical where he excelled in various roles, including as a Foreman whose crew set production records, as a Lab Tech where his lab work was instrumental in obtaining five patents for Dow, and as an environmental quality analyst. His career at Dow culminated with a public relations role where he gave informational tours of Dow’s Midland facility to everyone from foreign dignitaries to disadvantaged school kids. He enjoyed dressing up as “Mr. Science” and performing fun experiments to spark kids' interest in science and instill in them the belief that they could achieve great things. After leaving Dow, he started his own company that produced soil nutrients and conditioners and worked closely with farmers to optimize their crop yields. In retirement, he enjoyed visiting and taking trips with his kids and granddaughter, blanketing his property with flowers, going on Canadian fishing trips with his buddies, and meeting up with his dear friends at Coffee Chaos twice a week. Ernie contributed to the local community in many important ways. He coached the Larkin Little League teams his son played on and umpired other games (where he was infamous for his low strike zone). He was largely responsible for the initial construction of what is now the Larkin Township Park on North Jefferson Road. He was a Boy Scout and Explorer Scout Leader for many years, mentoring kids and leading an untold number of camping and canoe trips all over northern Michigan and Canada. He and his family were part of the Nazarene Church and later Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church. He sang in the church choir, including a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City, served on the Presbyterian Elders Board, and helped facilitate many important facility improvements benefiting the congregation. But his main mission throughout his life was pouring all he was and had into his family. He was a beloved husband to his wife of over 50 years Carolee who predeceased him, a devoted and loving father to his children, Michael (Karyn) Caldwell and Vicki (Paul) Kraft, and cherished grandfather to Mackenzie (Julian) Kelly. He was predeceased by his mother Hazel Jean Marshall and his brother Larry Marshall. He is fondly remembered by his kids as “The Best Dad Ever” who never missed one of their sporting events or school functions and was always there to support and encourage them when needed. In his later years, he found love again and was a loving and supportive partner to his fiancée Paula Ulmer who was the same for him. Ernie was simply a loving family man, a committed friend, and a guy who brightened the day of everyone he met. A Memorial Service to celebrate Ernie Caldwell’s life is being planned for this spring on a date and location to be announced. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the Humane Society of Midland County where Ernie found his beloved dog Shadow, or Midland’s Open Door, To sign online obituary, visit
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