Thursday, May 13, 2021

Clifford Caldwell

| April 21, 2021 6:25 AM

On April 2, 2021, Clifford Caldwell passed away at home.

Cliff touched many lives throughout his 76 years, and we will miss him — as husband, dad, grandpa, and friend.

Born in Helena on Nov. 19, 1944, Cliff was raised in Fort Shaw and graduated from Simms high school. He spent his time there working at the family gas station and listening to the baseball broadcasts that cemented his love of the Yankees and Mickey Mantle. He loved sports, basketball in particular, and was proud to help lead his team on some memorable state tournament runs.

Cliff earned a bachelor’s of accounting degree from the University of Montana in 1969 after marrying the love of his life in September of that previous year. His career took him from an accounting role at Conagra to a 16-year position managing the Blackfeet Indian Writing Company. In 1989, he and his family moved to Columbia Falls, where he worked at Meadow Lake and then started his own business. He rounded out his career spending his summers in Glacier Park managing the Glacier Park Lodge and the Swiftcurrent Motel.

He was the sort of father who took his young kids

with him everywhere; who invented new games and stories for them to play, and later created yet other games for the grandkids. There were always divots in the front yard from pitching practice, and he made sure the whole family was well versed in sports trivia. When Cliffie started a sentence with “Did you know…” it was guaranteed you were about to learn something interesting.

As so many people have told us over the last month, he was also “one of the good ones” who everyone liked and appreciated. He was a natural connector who was often near the center of a good time. Whether it was pulling together a rocking softball team in the ’70s, chatting with guests at one of the Lodges, keeping the conversation lively at a family gathering, or finding the folks he invariably knew as he traveled the state watching high school sports, Cliff loved chatting with everyone….and everyone loved spending time with him.

Cliff was diagnosed with brain cancer in late February. He faced the diagnosis with grace and courage, convinced that he had been lucky to have a great life. He felt blessed to have so many of his friends reach out, visit,

and share memories with him over his last month; and we are eternally grateful for that celebration of life while he was alive. He maintained his sense of humor through the month, ensuring that we all had plenty of laughter even as the disease took his physical strength.

Cliff is survived by his wife, Darlene Caldwell of Columbia Falls; his children Stacy Caldwell and her wife Ann, Mike Caldwell and his wife Amanda, and Kelly Lindsey; his grandchildren Azlyn, Madeline, and Van; and his brother Paul Caldwell.

Columbia Mortuary in Columbia Falls is caring for the family.