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Harley Jefferson Caldwell, 92, of Little Rock, formerly of Bryant, passed away August 18. He was born in Rosston, February 8, 1920. After serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he and his wife moved to Little Rock and began working together at a small service station on Asher Avenue. He serviced cars and fixed flats while Velma washed windshields and pumped gas. They actually lived in a back room of the station. Together they labored 41 years transforming the 2-pump service station into a chain of service stations and a wholesale distributorship, which became known as Caldwell Oil Company, one of the largest independent oil companies in the state. He expanded beyond the oil business constructing the first ever coin-operated carwash in the state and also began an ice company that provided bagged ice for all his service stations as well as others. In 1969, they bought a tract of land on Interstate 30 in Bryant, and began developing it into their residence and working cattle ranch. In 1980 they sold the business and redirected their energies into Caldwell Cattle Company. In a short period of time, he became one of the most recognized breeders in the National Red Poll Breeders Association. Several of the show cattle he raised became state and national champions. In 2003, he sold his cattle ranch to developer Jim Lindsey to create what is now Hurricane Creek Golf and Country Club. The centerpiece of the property is a ten-acre lake that was actually built by Harley. The lake is now officially named Caldwell Lake in his honor. Harley was a member of Temple Baptist Church for over 40 years, where he remained active until moving to Parkway Village Health Center. For many years he served as chairman of the churchâ€™s benevolence committee. He became a strong supporter of Central Baptist College in Conway, Arkansas, and was a charter board member for Life Word, the radio and television ministry of the Baptist Missionary Association of America.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, the late Velma Roberts Caldwell.
He is survived by his son, Rick Caldwell (JoNell); grandsons, Christopher Caldwell (Ashley), of Little Rock; Lt. Clayton Caldwell of Fort Hood, Texas; granddaughter, Catie Lipsey (Jayson) of Orlando, Florida; and great-granddaughter Audrey Cate Lipsey and great-grandson Michael Caldwell Lipsey.
Visitation will be Monday, August 20, 2012, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., at Roller-Chenal Funeral Home, (501)224-8300.
Services will be Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 10:00 a.m., at the funeral home. There will be a private burial.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, www.woundedwarriorproject.org
Online guestbook: www.rollerfuneralhomes.com/chenal
Family Comments: The family would like to thank the staff of Parkway Village and Baptist Hospice for the excellent care they provided.