Lynn William Caldwell, was born June 1, 1944 to William (Bill) George and Betty Rose (Friar) Caldwell at the Walkerton Hospital. He was big brother to Garry (1946), Lloyd (1948) and Grace (1958). Sadly he was predeceased by 2 infant brothers Robert in 1949 and James in 1951. The first year of his life was spent on Concession 10, in Elderslie Township. From there, his parents rented a farm in Bruce Township on Concession 10, for another year, until they purchased the farm in 1946 on Concession 12 of Bruce Township. Lynn had lived on this concession ever since!
Lynn attended SS #15, a rural school in Bruce Township. He then went to high school in Port Elgin until Grade 10 and then furthered his education more at Business College in Galt, where he took accounting for part of the year. However, Lynn did not enjoy city life and was glad to get back to the country!
As a young man Lynn worked for various neighbours learning carpentry and farming. Lynn also worked at the Port Elgin Co-op for a year before going to work with various companies constructing farm buildings; J.&H. Fleming in Hanover and Walkerton Building Supplies. He worked at Bruce Packers, Paisley, where all the brothers worked at one time or another but he eventually decided to start farming. Lynn rented the farm for a year before purchasing it in 1965. It was referred to as the "Hay Farm".
In the winter of 1964, Lynn met Marguerite Ann Northcott through a teacher friend at a Youth for Christ group. Faith was important to both Lynn and Marguerite, and so it was fitting that they met at a Christian group. On July 30, 1966 Lynn and Marguerite were married – they would have celebrated 50 years this year however, Marguerite passed away in May of this year. Marguerite and Lynn, were married at Four Square Gospel Church in Durham by the Rev. Dave Illman. They were blessed with three children: Stephen, Sandra and Susan and eight grandchildren: Aaron, Alyssa, Samuel, Raymond, Alexander, Morgan, Owen and Lyndon.
Lynn started farming with beef cattle for a while, then switched to raising and selling registered Holstein heifers. Upon deciding to milk Lynn began with a very small herd of 12 milk cows. At first Lynn and Marguerite just shipped the cream, by taking it to the Paisley Creamery as there was not much volume. Gradually the volume increased and it would be shipped by cans. However, they soon realized this was too much work! So Lynn added a milk house with a bulk cooler tank by 1968 and added a silo in 1969.
On March 9, 1974 the family experienced the devastating barn fire that Marguerite so eloquently wrote about, later. They lost their entire herd of registered Holsteins. Lynn was able to save fifty young heifers and a bull waiting for transport to Mexico. Yet again, faith played a notable role for the Caldwell family as they were able to see the blessings amongst their sorrow. They were very thankful that the fire did not spread to their home.
Marguerite wrote, “While we had no income, many generous gifts helped see us through this difficult time, including a crate of eggs and a load of hay. . . .Truly, everything worked out well in the end.” (Our Family Farm stories from Bruce Grey. Port Elgin: The Brucedale Press, 2014) Their prayers were answered as to what to do next, the Caldwell family was able to purchase the Cumming farm, still on the 12th, and by November of 1974 they were ready to move onto it. Marguerite and Lynn remained on this farm until their deaths.
Sadly enough, in 1980 Lynn was diagnosed with Farmer’s Lung, caused from the mold in the grain, and he was forced to sell the Dairy Cattle. During, and following this, Lynn simply continued on, in his determined style, with various business deals to keep him busy.
In 1984 tragedy struck once again and Lynn rolled the cattle truck, breaking his wing bones near bottom of his spine. However, it seems that this is all part and parcel of trying to make it as a farmer. Lynn doggedly continued on, buying and selling lots of equipment to Northern Ontario, cash cropping, and raising various animals – Beef, Sheep, etc. Lynn also raised a few foals as driving horses. Selling seed for various companies, which then branched out to include a seed cleaning business, which was started by Lynn and still runs today! To know Lynn was to know his love of antiques and tractors. He owned a variety of tractors but loved John Deere tractors the best! Indeed, Lynn William Caldwell was a well-respected business man, not only for his integrity, but also his work ethic, compassion and honesty. And it is these fine qualities that Lynn has instilled in the Caldwell family. He was told at a young age to be “an asset to the country not a liability”. Lynn was always there to help others!
Lynn was often seen wearing his farm cap, heard whistling a hymn and was sure to have with him a toothpick and pocket knife. He had a good sense of humour and loved to joke and had an amazing memory. Like Marguerite, family was most important to Lynn. Giving tractor and combine rides to the grandchildren and friends gave not only the riders but also Lynn great joy. He also enjoyed making maple syrup and playing crokinole and checkers with the grandchildren. Other favourite family activities were family reunions, Christmas and enjoying ice cream. Interestingly enough, Lynn loved his cell phone, thinking it the best investment and piece of equipment ever! Woodworking was another passion of Lynn’s, as was finding a good auction deal on antique bells, tractors, or farming tools. Lynn always took the time for others and loved to talk! The family often joked that he should have hung a shingle out as a farm consultant! They also joked about “Caldwell Time” which meant always being late!
Lynn enjoyed traveling the countryside checking crops and knew almost all the back roads in Bruce and Grey Counties. He always liked to take a scenic route and never the same way twice. In 1981, Lynn and Marguerite packed up the three children and drove the car for three weeks to Kelowna, BC and back, visiting friends and relatives along the way. Later Lynn and Marguerite were also able to travel to England and New Mexico to visit relatives and to Iowa on a seed business trip.
Lynn also served his community by functioning on numerous committees: Bruce County Heritage Association – since it began after the 1993 International Plowing Match, first show 1994; International Plowing Matching 1993 – Antique committee; Bruce County Historical Society (also President); Home and School – (also President); Church Board / Member – involved since its inception in 1952/53; West Bruce Feeder Finance – for years; Bruce County Farm Safety – (also President); and as a 4-H Leader in the Maple Syrup and Feeder/Stocker Club.
Lynn loved making connections and a big part of, not only his wisdom but also sharing, this was his various sayings, here are a few:
· Summer fog will cook a hog. Winter fog will freeze a dog.
· Leap year – it will jump out at you every time!
· Frogs croak 3x before spring is officially here.
· A bird in a hand is worth 2 in a bush.
· When ash comes out before the oak, oats and grass be sure to choke. When oak comes out before the ash there will be sure a splash.
· Corn had to be knee high by the first of July.
· What you sow is what you reap.
In addition to all of the above, Lynn often defined the success of the day by two things: Making a deal (and a good one at that!) and learning something new.
In true Lynn style, he waited until his beloved Steam Show was ending on Sunday afternoon, August 21, 2016 to take his last breathes. He was 72. He now is reunited with his beloved Marguerite.
Cherished dad of Stephen (Amanda) Caldwell of Elderslie Township, Sandra (Laszlo) Guta of Paisley and Susan Caldwell (David Camp) of Stouffville. He will live on in the hearts and minds of his grandchildren, Alexander, Morgan, Owen, Aaron (Sarah), Alyssa, Samuel, Raymond and Lyndon. Lynn will be sadly missed by his brothers, Garry (Ila) Caldwell of Paisley, Lloyd (Diana) Caldwell of Chatsworth and his sister Grace (James) Birrell of Pinkerton, as well as many nieces and nephews. Fondly remembered by his sister-in-law Mary Northcott of Williamsford. He was predeceased by his beloved wife Marguerite and his parents, William and Betty (Friar) Caldwell.
Visitation will be held at Immanuel Evangelical Missionary Church, Paisley on Friday from 1 – 4 and 7 – 9 p.m. where a funeral service celebrating Lynn’s life will be held on Saturday, August 27, 2016 at 11 a.m. Interment in Lovat Cemetery, Bruce Township.
Memorial donations to the Bruce County Heritage Association, Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation or Paisley Missionary Church would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.
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