"Iron Man" - Losing a Great Black Man My Father at 93

By Roger Caldwell

HomerEugeneCaldwellIn the hymnbook and from the pastor, they tell us we know not the hour. My siblings and I never expected we would be preparing for my father’s home going service on 2-10-23. Homer Eugene Caldwell was born in Charlotte, North Carolina on March 21, 1929, with seven siblings in a four-room house with no running water and no bathroom. He was taught to honor God, his family, education, and hard work.

My grandfather lived to be 109 and I expected my father to live forever. Caldwell men are strong and take care of their body, and they never let age define their accomplishments.  As a young man my father understood his assignment, and after marrying my mother, together they became leaders in the Black community saving souls and building churches around the world.

Straight out of high school, the Caldwell men learned the mason trade, and they traveled around the country perfecting their skills with a vision to one day own a business. My father always saved his money and always sent money home to his parents. After marriage a year later my father was in a position to buy his first home.

As an entrepreneur/businessman my father bought real estate, and eventually started a construction business in the late fifties which my brother Kevin runs today. In real estate, my father and mother were very successful, as they owned real estate in New Jersey, land in upstate New York, North Carolina, and Florida. He was a philanthropist, and everyone has a story of how he helped someone along the way with advice, money or a loan.

For over 20 years my father was the family reunion president, and everyone has a funny story to tell about him. Dad could always make people laugh, and was always ready for a good joke will be missed.

At the age of 57, my father and mother retired to Orlando, and bought a couple homes and a 5-acre orange grove. Dad had so much fun with his orange grove, and every year he would give his, friends and relatives, oranges. He loved cleaning his pool, even though he very rarely swam in it. Dad loved his Gideon’s brothers giving out Bibles, singing and going to church.

At the last church where he was a member, Solid Rock Community Church of God, my father was given the title “iron man.” When there was concrete work needed, no one could work as hard as my father in his nineties.  The care of his body, believing in God and love was the source of his strength.

My father was always talking politics, and discussing the state of Black America. Two and a half years ago my father and mother moved to Maryland to get help with my mother. Very few live to be a healthy 93 years old mentally, physically, and spiritually. My dad lived a blessed life, touched many lives in a positive way. Greatness is something earned, not given, and God is still in control.