Ted Talbert Caldwell, 80, of Leicester, passed away on Monday, December 4, 2017, at his home.
A native of Buncombe Co., Ted was a son of the late Roy and Bertha King Caldwell. He was also preceded in death by his grandson, Alex Jarosz; and brothers, Reed Caldwell and Carroll Caldwell (Dorothy).
Ted was a longtime farmer who loved his cattle. He had also worked as a real estate investor before retiring at the age of 50 to help his son, Jeff, start Jeff’s Auto Sales. Throughout the 30 years they’ve worked together, Ted never took a day of vacation!
Ted also had an immense love for racing. From the days of sitting in the stands with Putt, Carolyn, and Diane Miller to raising cane with the flagman at Asheville Speedway when he thought they made the wrong call. One of Ted’s favorite memories was of Ronnie Silver renting a little shop from him in Leicester then going on to win many championships, including racing in the Busch Grand National Series, with Ted serving as the tire carrier. That crew had the most fun in the entire Busch Series.
Ted enjoyed watching Jeff race from Winston minis to late models at the Asheville and Hickory Speedways. 10 years later after Ed Surrett took over the Newport Speedway, Ted didn’t miss a race there for 4 years. Newport became his vacation place every Saturday night. Ted even wanted Ed to run in the winter!
Ted and his wife, Susie, were married for 56 years. While Ted was interested in racing, Susie took care of running the store. They each had their own interests and never fought.
Ted is survived by his wife, Susie Woody Caldwell; son, Jeff Caldwell (Ashley Williams); grandchild, Bradleigh Robinson; sisters, Joyce Wiggins (Woody), Judy West (Jim), Gilda Messer (late husband Ken) and Dean Pressley (Phil); brother, Keith Caldwell; and best friends, Richard Miller and Ed Surrett.
The family gives extra special thanks to Lisa Garner, Katie Caldwell, David Woody, Gina Woody, Joyce Hazel, Dean Pressley, Joyce Wiggins, Ashley Williams, Sammy Hollifield, Sherry Bradburn, Keith Caldwell, Kevian, Goodnough, Telma Allison, Heleodoro Lopez “Lil Man,” and George and Rosemary Franklin.
Thanks to the employees at Jeff's Auto Sales, Chris and Crystal Harris, Matt Caldwell, David Woody, Harold Waldroup, McMahan's Auto Service, Ken Cassidy, and Black Bear Transmission.
The funeral service for Mr. Caldwell will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday at the Groce Funeral Home chapel on Patton Ave. with Rev. Ricky Townsend officiating. Interment will follow at Cross Rock Baptist Church Cemetery, in Marshall.
His family will receive friends for two hours prior to the service at the funeral home, beginning at 1:00 p.m.