OBITUARY

Ben Caudle

April 27, 1923February 6, 2019
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Dr. Ben H. Caudle, age 95 of Austin, departed this life on February 6, 2019. Ben was born in Midlothian, TX on April 27, 1923, to Allen and Mattie Caudle. Ben attended school in Dallas, graduating in 1939 at the age of 16. On his father’s recommendation, Ben attended junior college before coming to the University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated in 1943 with a BS in chemistry.

Out of school, Ben moved to Bartlesville, OK, to work at the US Bureau of Mines’ refining research lab before being drafted into the US Army. As an enlisted infantryman, he served in the Third Army in Europe, and under General Patton’s direction, saw combat at the Battle of the Bulge and the crossing of the Rhine before the end of the war. PFC Caudle returned home later in 1945, disembarking from a Liberty ship in New York City on Victory in Japan Day. Upon completing his war service, Ben returned briefly to the Bureau of Mines before relocating back to Dallas to be closer to his family. He took a position as Research Scientist with Atlantic Refining, initially going to work developing an apparatus for measuring relative permeability. While working in Dallas, Ben met Edna Lucille Stewart, known as Teal to her family and friends, and they married in Dallas in 1948.

Ben decided to return to UT Austin as a petroleum engineering PhD student, studying under the supervision of Dr. Hal Silberberg while working for the Texas Petroleum Research Council. Upon graduating in 1963, he promptly joined the faculty of the UT Department of Petroleum Engineering (UT PGE) and he served as chairman from 1963-67. Over the next four decades, Ben led pioneering research efforts at UT PGE. He authored two reservoir engineering books through the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He also steered the department through numerous waves of faculty additions, in the process mentoring many of UT PGE’s most distinguished current faculty members. Most importantly, Ben taught and mentored multiple generations of UT PGE alumni, in some cases teaching the sons, daughters, and even grandchildren of some of his earliest students. Ben was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 1988. He retired and was granted Professor Emeritus status in 1997, but still taught classes from time to time until 2009. In 2011, Ben was honored as a UT PGE Distinguished Alumni. The Ben H. Caudle Student Learning Excellence Center was dedicated in 2012, to provide students the tools they need to enjoy learning and solve the problems that the industry faces today.

Ben was preceded in death by his beloved Teal, his loving wife of 54 years, in 2003. Ben is survived by his two sons Alan and Brian and daughters-in-law Nancy and Christine; grandchildren Melissa (husband David), Christopher, Benjamin and Daniel; and great grandchildren Timothy and Joshua.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at Cook-Walden Funeral Home, 6100 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin TX.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Ben H Caudle Excellence Fund within the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems. Please make checks payable to the University of Texas at Austin and mail to the Cockrell School of Engineering at 301 East Dean Keeton, Attn: Dean Clement, Austin, TX 78712. Write “Caudle Fund” in the notes on your check.

Services

  • Memorial Service Saturday, February 16, 2019
REMEMBERING

Ben Caudle

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Esther Barrientes

February 12, 2019

My condolences to the family. I met Dr. Caudle when I began working with UT PGE back in 1981. I was promoted to the graduate program coordinator position the 2nd year of my employment working with the graduate advisor, Dr. Caudle. I will never forget the day I walked into the office and there was a Radio Shack computer sitting on my desk. Not having used one at all, I asked him about it. He said just turn it on and figure it out. I was a little hesitant about it but I forged on. Later, he asked how I was coming along with it and I said I had figured it out. He just smiled. Now, when I am faced with new technology, I remember his words.

In the old building, I used to see him daily. Once we moved to the "new" building in 1986, I didn't see him as often. I looked forward to our Christmas lunches at work when he would bring Mrs. Caudle. They were such a great couple.

Robert Eckols

February 9, 2019

I met Dr. Caudle when Brian and I were in junior high school. Over the next ten years got to know Ben well. While I didn’t get to see him as much once I moved to California in 1980, we visited from time to time. I remembered him as a big man whose was kind and generous man with a great sense of humor. My son’s name is Benjamin and there is a connection.

My thoughts are with Brian and his family.

One memory that stayed with me for all these years was when I was trying to debug a FORTRAN program while an undergrad at UT. Brian convenienced me to ask dad for help. I was nervous asking him since he was a professor. We went to Dr. Caudle’s office, he looked at a printout of the code for a moment and said, What's an inpu? The first punch card of the deck only had to have the statement “input/output “ on it and I had a typo. He asked the question with a knowing smile, which made me feel a little less foolish.

B C

February 8, 2019

Please accept my deepest condolences in your loss. As you cope during this difficult time, find strength in the words: “Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those....will hear his voice and come out.” John 5:28,29

FROM THE FAMILY
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Celebrating 95 years

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Celebrating 95 years

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Ben with Roux, his trusted companion

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Thanksgiving 2017