OBITUARY

Mike Caldwell

June 27, 1967March 7, 2019
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Michael Caldwell, 51 of Albion, passed away Thursday, March 7th at his home surrounded by his loving family, after a long and admirable battle with brain cancer. He proved his immense strength and desire to be with his family when he overcame a prior diagnosis of cancer in 2006.

The Caldwell family would like to thank the loving community of friends who provided so much support through this difficult time and also to the doctors and nurses who loved and cared for Mike.

A celebration of life will be held on SaturMike was born in Waterville, June 27th, 1967; the son of Linda and Walter Williams of Waterville and Wayne Caldwell of Florida.

Mike graduated from Nokomis Regional High School in 1985. He worked for Tel Power in Palmyra for many years before being employed at Tidewater Telecom of Nobleboro. Mike was proud of his 20+ year career at Tidewater and loved his co-workers.

Mike is survived by his best friend and wife of twenty years, Lynn Caldwell. He leaves behind his beloved children, Jessica and her husband Rob Bowie of Plymouth, Christopher Caldwell and his companion Kim Bancroft of Waterville, Camryn Caldwell and Ethan Caldwell of Albion. His three treasured grandchildren Ashlyn, Conner and Alec Bowie of Plymouth. His brother Scott Caldwell of Corinna, sister Michelle and her husband Bill Andrews of Corinna; as well as a very special niece Amanda, nephew Cody and his wife Kristen and daughter Asa. His mother-in-law Carol and her husband Mike Ouellette of Pittsfield, his father-in-law Marland Soucy and his companion Diane Bartlett of Dexter; as well as his brother-in-law Gary Soucy and his wife Danielle and son Emmet. Mike is also survived by his “brother from another mother” Chris Bilodeau of Winslow.

Mike was a family man and was always the happiest when his family was together. He was an avid outdoor enthusiast and enjoyed hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, four wheeling and golfing. His children inherited his love for these activities. He was most proud of his 242 lb, 12 point buck; which got him into the Biggest Bucks of Maine club.

Mike was also very passionate about watching his children play sports. He and his wife Lynn attended every game during each season and spent many hours traveling to cheer their favorite players on.

day March 16th from 1:00 - 3:00 PM at Veilleux Funeral Home in Waterville. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Mikes memory to the Albion Athletic Association. Donations can be mailed to the associations treasurer Chuck Roy at 18 China Rd. Albion Me. 04910.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Veilleux Funeral Home, 8 Elm Street in Waterville. Please visit our website www.VeilleuxFuneralHome.com to share your memories and offer condolences.

*************** The following words are from Mike's daughter, Camryn at her father's Celebration of Life:

I am so lucky to be the daughter of Michael Caldwell. I was truly blessed to have 19 years with him, although it has not been nearly enough. In those 19 years, he taught me so many life lessons, like how to back into the garage. He said “just like this”, threw the car into reverse and took the side mirror off. Since he hardly ever made a mistake and was always teasing me, I really enjoyed this moment and it will always be a memory that will make me laugh. Maybe it was a little payback for all of the years he would tell me that the caveman from the Geico commercial was my boyfriend. He would bring it up often and even if I wasn’t in the room he would yell, “Camryn!, Camryn!” as if something exciting was happening and I would come running out only to see the caveman and Dad would say “there’s your boyfriend.” I would get so upset over this that sometimes I would cry. I was a little bit of a drama queen and in my teen years, Dad and I had our fair share of arguments. Sometimes, I would get so mad about the rules he made and I couldn’t understand but now looking back I realize he did it all out of love and to make me the person I am today. Dad raised me to be a tough, stubborn, caring, and positive person, just like him. I also got my athleticism from him. One day I challenged him to a foot race and was shocked when he beat me. I was also lucky enough to get some of my best features from Dad. My round face, little round chin, blue eyes and big muscles. We also shared the same sense of humor. We enjoyed watching and quoting Anchorman 2 together. Our favorite quote was “The wind is very windy.” The biggest passion we shared was basketball. Ever since I started playing, he was the ultimate coach. Even though I had actual coaches, no one could teach me like he could. He has driven me thousands of miles; between my PAL years, travel teams, AAU teams and jr. high & high school; we have traveled all throughout New England and even to Washington D.C. He was at every single game of mine. I would always look at him in the stands. If my shot was off, he would tuck his elbow in, bend his knees, point at his toes or mimic a follow through. He was my biggest fan and critic. Even if I had a great game, there was always room for improvement and he would let me know that. He always pushed me to work hard to be my best, but also that it was just a game. Dad was there for me, for many victories as well as many losses. Dad was not only proud of my sweet basketball skills but also proud of me academically. He was excited that I would be pursuing a nursing degree and he will be thrilled when I reach our goal. My dad is my biggest hero and the person I look up to the most. I strive to be the kind of person he was - perfect. Dad and I always ended our conversations with our awesome handshake then I would say I” love you”, to which he would say “I love you more” and I’d follow with “I love you most!” Before I end, I am going to have to let one of dad’s secrets out: when my siblings weren’t around he’d let me know that I was the favorite.

So Dad…. I love you most.

****************************

The following was presented by Mike's son, Ethan. at his father's Celebration of Life on Saturday March 16, 2019:

As soon as I could walk, I did nothing without my dad right by my side. During the years I had with dad he taught me everything I needed to know, especially how and where to hold the flashlight. If I was doing anything wrong, Dad wouldn’t let up until it was right. Dad taught me everything I love doing now. As soon as I could go hunting with him, I took up the opportunity. Even though not much luck came my way the first couple of years he took me out, he always managed to get one. I think this had to do with the 8 hours in a tree he spent every day he had off during hunting season. The day I shot my first deer was perhaps the coldest day in 2015, but we were out sitting in the tree stand before sunlight. I was getting disappointed as the end of the season was closing in and I had another year with nothing, then I heard dad whisper, “buck buck!” I didn't believe him at first because he said this jokingly all the time. That's just how he was. He stopped the deer about half way down our lane and it felt like forever before I built up the courage to pull the trigger, or “squeeze it” like dad would always tell me. I looked up from the scope and dad was so happy. I knew I had hit it. We walked down into the lane and found a bunch of blood, and there it sat about 50 feet from where I had shot it. After finding it dad made me do the rest of the work. I got it up to the house, and gutted it with dads guidance and then I dragged it into the garage where we hung it up and proceeded to skin and quarter it. We brought in one quarter at a time and cut it up, making sure there was not one piece of fat or hair on it, and then packaged it. This was one of the best things that Dad and I had ever done together because hunting meant so much to him. Hunting was dad's favorite thing to do and I just wanted to make him proud. Dad also loved fishing, particularly ice fishing, or “ice drinking” as he liked to call it. Dad loved nothing more than to be out on the ice with his traps in the water before sunrise. Depending on the day the drinking commenced after his traps were in. This is where dad cooked most of his deer meat, out on the ice, and this is where it tastes the best in my opinion. He was a diehard, nothing stopped dad from getting out on the ice. I recall one morning at Sebec Lake (dad's favorite ice fishing spot), we got out of the truck and it was 22 below. But we stayed out there, the whole day. Aside from everything Dad loved to do, he also taught me everything he needed to do. Dad was very specific on how he did things, and if you watch me now, I don't think you could tell a difference. He taught me everything from school, when my teachers weren't the best, to working on cars and stuff such as the lawn mower. I did nothing without Dad and he was always a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on, and an amazing mentor. As I got older and was more capable of doing things, I am pretty sure dad did nothing without me whether he wanted to or not. But I am positive, he wouldn't want it any other way. I basically took over the care of the house a couple of years ago, when he no longer could. I think perhaps the day we all found out about his brain tumor was the worst day of all our lives. Shortly after his diagnosis he underwent surgery in Boston to remove part of the tumor. I stayed home to take care of the house while they were gone. During this time, we had gotten a blizzard that dropped over 2 feet of snow, the storm kept me busy for practically the whole day. Just two short days after dad's surgery he was home, just like nothing had ever happened. In fact I had gotten my snowmobile stuck in the deep snow that weekend, after I tried to get it out I shamefully walked into my house to tell dad. He then told me he had been watching and laughing at me for the past 30 minutes. I convinced him to come and help me. Dad walks over to the sled, stuck in about 4 feet of snow and simply lifts it up above the snow, and rode it to the garage, laughing at me the whole way. I'm going to say something now that I know will make dad smile, he was absolutely the strongest, most jacked old man I have ever met in my life. I mean like he was buff. He wasn't afraid to show it either; by whopping me at arm wrestles, and making things that were impossible for me, seem like nothing to him. Dad continued living life as normal for the next year and some change, defeating the odds everyday when he would wake up, get dressed and carry out normal life. As the days got longer and harder for me and the family, Dad kept a smile on his face and always made me laugh no matter how he was feeling. In just the short 16 years I got with my best friend, he made me into the man I am today. The last few months with dad were the worst for all of us. Nobody will ever know the pain of seeing their best friend, their superhero, their own father need help to get up and walk. But my dad, being the strongest person I know kept a smile on his face all the time, and never really told us how he felt, simply because he didn't want me to see him upset or sad. Even though dad had all of his own struggles to deal with, I am pretty sure he couldn't care about himself less. Even when dad couldn't walk, every time someone left he would always say, “watch out for the moat” which made me laugh every time, and lastly he would say, “drive safe”. Dad was the most caring and loving person I have ever met, and I am sure he will hold that record for the rest of my life. I can tell you guys one thing, and that is: not one day will go by where I don't think of my Dad and best friend, and there will absolutely not be a day where I don't strive to make Dad prouder than ever. ******************************** The following words of Remembrance were given by Mike's brother-in-law, Gary Soucy at his celebration of Life on Saturday March 16, 2019:

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “it is not length of life, but depth of life”. Though he has gone too soon, though his life was too short, the presence of all of you here today gives credence to the depth of life that Mike had. He was generous. He would help any way he could. He would give you the shirt off his back and never ask for anything in return. This speaks to the depth of his loyalty, his ability to be a friend. Mike would always have your back. He was a hard-worker and would go the extra mile to make sure the work was done, and done correctly. Whether it was a project around the house or working on the lines for Tidewater, often putting in long hours or working on weekends when he was on-call. Though as hard as Mike worked, he also knew how to have fun. All the memories I have of Mike include a smile on his face. Take a look at all the photo memories around the room. He was quick with a joke. And while he may have occasionally had fun at our expense, he was never cruel about it. You knew you were in on the joke with him. I miss his laugh. I miss laughing with him. But those are the memories I will cherish the most. He loved his family deeply. He was a wonderful father and husband. There isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his kids. No matter the challenges, he loved unconditionally, unquestioningly. And at the end he taught us how to deal with the hand he’d been dealt with dignity, humor, and kindness. He was still smiling and joking. All we have of him now is our memories. May they never fade. And as Abraham Lincoln said, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Mike’s years were full of life and full of love. Mike, my brother, I miss you and love you. We won’t forget. You will live on within us all.

*****************************

The following words are from Mike's daughter, Jess:

If you know me at all, you know my Dad meant the world to me. He was truly my hero and I idolized him. To me, Dad could do no wrong and that worked out well because…well....he agreed. He wasn’t the “know it all” type — the man was just like never wrong- he just knew things. He was so smart....a trivia pro who I tried to beat at Jeopardy time and time again with no success. Even at the very end, he was still calling out the answers; even when you thought he was sleeping or not paying attention. He was charming, caring and so so reliable. Over the years that was one of the characteristics I admired and cherished the most about him. If he said he was going to do it- he did. He came through for me time and time again and has always been my solid ground to land on. I take it as a compliment when people say I am so “grounded” and I thank Dad for that. Ethan said to me one day this week -“you’re like the female version of Dad.” That right there is THE absolute biggest compliment anyone could give me. I’ve always been his biggest fan and man did I hate to ever see him upset. It has been a joke for many years that I would get so genuinely upset when McDonald’s would mess up his order and put onions on his burgers, that I would cry. Over this past week there has been a lot of reminiscing and I can genuinely say I only remember being mad at Dad one time. We were camping and he was out standing on a rock, checking a bait trap. I kept taunting him (wonder where I learned that from) and tossing rocks out near him and trying to splash him. After a couple of rocks I decided I wanted something that would make a bigger splash and at this point Dad was getting irritated. I took my water shoe off and tossed it out in his direction and accidentally hit him with it. Well, I instantly knew he was not happy. He picked up the soaking wet water shoe and I started sprinting down the beach. He wound that thing and got me, right on the side of the head. I ran to the tent and didn’t speak to him for the rest of the day. He did apologize but also bragged that it was a pretty good friggin shot. Dad was the epitome of a family man. My husband has told me that was one of the first things that he noticed about Dad. He was always planning a get together and was happiest when we were all together. Every time we left he would already be asking when we’d see him again. When we were apart, he was always checking on me. He most often called me on his ride home from work. He would say “just callin to shoot the shit, whatcha doin honey?” and as much as he was always a listening ear for me and my confidant- I was his too. Being that he was just a kid himself when he came into my life, we grew up together in a sense and even though I had the utmost respect of him as my father, I also considered him a friend. He always gave me the best advice-whether it was relationship advice, tax and financial tips, parenting words of wisdom or just simply a recommendation on what brand appliance I should buy. We would vent to each other and he would tell me to handle my situation with my “normal grace” or to simply suck it up and stop feeling bad for myself and he would ask me to “talk some sense” into one of my siblings. He always ended our phone calls by saying “punch Rob for me and kiss the kids.” One thing that always cracked me up about Dad was the way he didn’t sugar coat a thing for us kids. When he took Lynn and I golfing for the first time, he didn’t hold back from letting us know we were terrible, it was so embarrassing and he’d never take us again. This was not him busting our balls - he meant it. But speaking of busting balls — I think most of you would agree Dad was the ultimate ball buster. He loved to tease and get people going. He would tell me to do something to one of my siblings or say something to embarrass someone and I’d say “Dad they are gonna hate us”, to which he would reply “that’s what family is for.” The majority of his teasing came from love. I am grateful my husband didn’t go running the other way after his first Lake Pemaquid camping trip. Dad and his cousin Chris didn’t let up on him ALL weekend long— it was like an initiation and I’m happy to say he passed. Dad grew to love Rob over the last 11 years and knew me and the kids would be ok in his care. I could go on for hours talking about Dad and reminiscing but I don’t want to keep telling you about what he “was.” He was this ... He was that ... I want to end by telling you what he is. He IS a part of us all and he IS always going to be.

Although I will never be able to repay him for all that he did for me, I can promise him a few things... Dad I promise I will continue to be your ally in making sure Camryn’s shorts are not too short and her bathing suits not too skimpy. I will tell her how proud you’d be when she earns her nursing degree and I will tell her she is beautiful on her wedding day and that without a doubt you are watching over us. I will slap Ethan around every now and then for you and make sure he remembers who the favorite child is...me! I will be there to cheer him on as he graduates high school and I will tell him every time he reminds me of you. I know he loves hearing it as much as I do. And I will simply keep believing in Christopher just as you always have. I will make sure that your grandchildren know you.. not just Ashlyn, Conner and Alec but any future ones that come along. I will make sure that they inherit some of those amazing qualities of yours that I did. And lastly, I will keep smiling and be strong because that is exactly what you would want. No pity parties here Dad.

I love you.

Services

  • Celebration of Life Saturday, March 16, 2019
REMEMBERING

Mike Caldwell

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Barbara Hogan

March 14, 2019

You are the best son in law anyone could have ever asked for.You will be greatly missed and I love you.

Vinal & Claire Zegouros

March 12, 2019

Lynn, we are so sorry to hear of Mike’s passing, he was such a nice guy, please know that we are thinking of you & the kids.

Trudi Ames

March 12, 2019

Linda,Walter and families, so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all . Trudi Kevin ames

sherry humphrey

March 12, 2019

Lynn , Linda and family, sending our condolences and just want to let you know that we are thinking of you all at this time. Sherry and Joe H.

Brenda Glidden

March 11, 2019

Linda, Walt, Wayne, Michelle, Scott, Lynn and family I am very sorry to hear about Mike passing. I have not seen Mike in years and looking at all the pictures was wonderful, to see the great family that he raised. All of us cousins had a lot of fun and good times growing up, and Mike always had that smile on his face. He was a wonderful person. His fight is over and he is now with so many of our other family members that have gone before him. My heart goes out to all of you. <3 <3 <3

Roland and Kathy Cote

March 11, 2019

Lynn and family,

We are so sorry for your loss of Mike.
He was a very special dad and husband.
His life and love was so special to your family.
He is no suffering no more.
God called him to be an angel.
Our thoughts and prayers are with your whole family.

Kathy and Roland

Cheri Dionne Neal

March 11, 2019

Lynn and family - I am so sorry to hear of Mikes’s passing. I remember him always having a big smile on his face and how important his family was to him! Much love to you Lynn at this difficult time.
Cheri Dionne-Neal

Beth Downing

March 11, 2019

I am saddened to read this. Mike was such a sweet, kind, and gentle person. I am so sorry for your loss.

Paula Lam

March 11, 2019

Jess my condolences to you and your family ..
The memories that you have keep close to your heart they’ll be forever there ❤️

Lorri Cronkite

March 11, 2019

Linda, my deepest sympathies to you and Jessi and your entire family.

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FROM THE FAMILY
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FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Michael Caldwell, 51 of Albion, passed away Thursday, March 7th at his home surrounded by his loving family, after a long and admirable battle with brain cancer. He proved his immense strength and desire to be with his family when he overcame a prior diagnosis of cancer in 2006.

The Caldwell family would like to thank the loving community of friends who provided so much support through this difficult time and also to the doctors and nurses who loved and cared for Mike.

A celebration of life will be held on SaturMike was born in Waterville, June 27th, 1967; the son of Linda and Walter Williams of Waterville and Wayne Caldwell of Florida.

Mike graduated from Nokomis Regional High School in 1985. He worked for Tel Power in Palmyra for many years before being employed at Tidewater Telecom of Nobleboro. Mike was proud of his 20+ year career at Tidewater and loved his co-workers.

Mike is survived by his best friend and wife of twenty years, Lynn Caldwell. He leaves behind his beloved children, Jessica and her husband Rob Bowie of Plymouth, Christopher Caldwell and his companion Kim Bancroft of Waterville, Camryn Caldwell and Ethan Caldwell of Albion. His three treasured grandchildren Ashlyn, Conner and Alec Bowie of Plymouth. His brother Scott Caldwell of Corinna, sister Michelle and her husband Bill Andrews of Corinna; as well as a very special niece Amanda, nephew Cody and his wife Kristen and daughter Asa. His mother-in-law Carol and her husband Mike Ouellette of Pittsfield, his father-in-law Marland Soucy and his companion Diane Bartlett of Dexter; as well as his brother-in-law Gary Soucy and his wife Danielle and son Emmet. Mike is also survived by his “brother from another mother” Chris Bilodeau of Winslow.

Mike was a family man and was always the happiest when his family was together. He was an avid outdoor enthusiast and enjoyed hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, four wheeling and golfing. His children inherited his love for these activities. He was most proud of his 242 lb, 12 point buck; which got him into the Biggest Bucks of Maine club.

Mike was also very passionate about watching his children play sports. He and his wife Lynn attended every game during each season and spent many hours traveling to cheer their favorite players on.

day March 16th from 1:00 - 3:00 PM at Veilleux Funeral Home in Waterville. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Mikes memory to the Albion Athletic Association. Donations can be mailed to the associations treasurer Chuck Roy at 18 China Rd. Albion Me. 04910.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Veilleux Funeral Home, 8 Elm Street in Waterville. Please visit our website www.VeilleuxFuneralHome.com to share your memories and offer condolences.

*********************************************************

The following words were presented by Mike's brother-in-law, Gary Soucy, at his Celebration of Life on Saturday March 16, 2019:

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “it is not length of life, but depth of life”. Though he has gone too soon, though his life was too short, the presence of all of you here today gives credence to the depth of life that Mike had.
He was generous. He would help any way he could. He would give you the shirt off his back and never ask for anything in return. This speaks to the depth of his loyalty, his ability to be a friend. Mike would always have your back.
He was a hard-worker and would go the extra mile to make sure the work was done, and done correctly. Whether it was a project around the house or working on the lines for Tidewater, often putting in long hours or working on weekends when he was on-call.
Though as hard as Mike worked, he also knew how to have fun. All the memories I have of Mike include a smile on his face. Take a look at all the photo memories around the room. He was quick with a joke. And while he may have occasionally had fun at our expense, he was never cruel about it. You knew you were in on the joke with him. I miss his laugh. I miss laughing with him. But those are the memories I will cherish the most.
He loved his family deeply. He was a wonderful father and husband. There isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his kids. No matter the challenges, he loved unconditionally, unquestioningly.
And at the end he taught us how to deal with the hand he’d been dealt with dignity, humor, and kindness. He was still smiling and joking.
All we have of him now is our memories. May they never fade.
And as Abraham Lincoln said, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Mike’s years were full of life and full of love.
Mike, my brother, I miss you and love you. We won’t forget. You will live on within us all.

****************************************************

The following was presented by Mike's daughter, Jess, at her fathers Celebration of Life n Saturday March 16, 2019:

If you know me at all, you know my Dad meant the world to me. He was truly my hero and I idolized him. To me, Dad could do no wrong and that worked out well because…well....he agreed. He wasn’t the “know it all” type — the man was just like never wrong- he just knew things. He was so smart....a trivia pro who I tried to beat at Jeopardy time and time again with no success. Even at the very end, he was still calling out the answers; even when you thought he was sleeping or not paying attention.
He was charming, caring and so so reliable. Over the years that was one of the characteristics I admired and cherished the most about him. If he said he was going to do it- he did. He came through for me time and time again and has always been my solid ground to land on. I take it as a compliment when people say I am so “grounded” and I thank Dad for that. Ethan said to me one day this week -“you’re like the female version of Dad.” That right there is THE absolute biggest compliment anyone could give me. I’ve always been his biggest fan and man did I hate to ever see him upset. It has been a joke for many years that I would get so genuinely upset when McDonald’s would mess up his order and put onions on his burgers, that I would cry.
Over this past week there has been a lot of reminiscing and I can genuinely say I only remember being mad at Dad one time. We were camping and he was out standing on a rock, checking a bait trap. I kept taunting him (wonder where I learned that from) and tossing rocks out near him and trying to splash him. After a couple of rocks I decided I wanted something that would make a bigger splash and at this point Dad was getting irritated. I took my water shoe off and tossed it out in his direction and accidentally hit him with it. Well, I instantly knew he was not happy. He picked up the soaking wet water shoe and I started sprinting down the beach. He wound that thing and got me, right on the side of the head. I ran to the tent and didn’t speak to him for the rest of the day. He did apologize but also bragged that it was a pretty good friggin shot.
Dad was the epitome of a family man. My husband has told me that was one of the first things that he noticed about Dad. He was always planning a get together and was happiest when we were all together. Every time we left he would already be asking when we’d see him again.
When we were apart, he was always checking on me. He most often called me on his ride home from work. He would say “just callin to shoot the shit, whatcha doin honey?” and as much as he was always a listening ear for me and my confidant- I was his too. Being that he was just a kid himself when he came into my life, we grew up together in a sense and even though I had the utmost respect of him as my father, I also considered him a friend. He always gave me the best advice-whether it was relationship advice, tax and financial tips, parenting words of wisdom or just simply a recommendation on what brand appliance I should buy. We would vent to each other and he would tell me to handle my situation with my “normal grace” or to simply suck it up and stop feeling bad for myself and he would ask me to “talk some sense” into one of my siblings. He always ended our phone calls by saying “punch Rob for me and kiss the kids.”
One thing that always cracked me up about Dad was the way he didn’t sugar coat a thing for us kids. When he took Lynn and I golfing for the first time, he didn’t hold back from letting us know we were terrible, it was so embarrassing and he’d never take us again. This was not him busting our balls - he meant it.
But speaking of busting balls — I think most of you would agree Dad was the ultimate ball buster. He loved to tease and get people going. He would tell me to do something to one of my siblings or say something to embarrass someone and I’d say “Dad they are gonna hate us”, to which he would reply “that’s what family is for.” The majority of his teasing came from love. I am grateful my husband didn’t go running the other way after his first Lake Pemaquid camping trip. Dad and his cousin Chris didn’t let up on him ALL weekend long— it was like an initiation and I’m happy to say he passed. Dad grew to love Rob over the last 11 years and knew me and the kids would be ok in his care.
I could go on for hours talking about Dad and reminiscing but I don’t want to keep telling you about what he “was.”
He was this ...
He was that ...
I want to end by telling you what he is. He IS a part of us all and he IS always going to be.

Although I will never be able to repay him for all that he did for me, I can promise him a few things...
Dad I promise I will continue to be your ally in making sure Camryn’s shorts are not too short and her bathing suits not too skimpy. I will tell her how proud you’d be when she earns her nursing degree and I will tell her she is beautiful on her wedding day and that without a doubt you are watching over us.
I will slap Ethan around every now and then for you and make sure he remembers who the favorite child is...me! I will be there to cheer him on as he graduates high school and I will tell him every time he reminds me of you. I know he loves hearing it as much as I do.
And I will simply keep believing in Christopher just as you always have.
I will make sure that your grandchildren know you.. not just Ashlyn, Conner and Alec but any future ones that come along. I will make sure that they inherit some of those amazing qualities of yours that I did.
And lastly, I will keep smiling and be strong because that is exactly what you would want. No pity parties here Dad.

I love you.

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The following was presented by Mike's daughter, Camryn, at her father's Celebration of Life on Saturday March 16, 2019

I am so lucky to be the daughter of Michael Caldwell. I was truly blessed to have 19 years with him, although it has not been nearly enough. In those 19 years, he taught me so many life lessons, like how to back into the garage. He said “just like this”, threw the car into reverse and took the side mirror off. Since he hardly ever made a mistake and was always teasing me, I really enjoyed this moment and it will always be a memory that will make me laugh. Maybe it was a little payback for all of the years he would tell me that the caveman from the Geico commercial was my boyfriend. He would bring it up often and even if I wasn’t in the room he would yell, “Camryn!, Camryn!” as if something exciting was happening and I would come running out only to see the caveman and Dad would say “there’s your boyfriend.” I would get so upset over this that sometimes I would cry. I was a little bit of a drama queen and in my teen years, Dad and I had our fair share of arguments. Sometimes, I would get so mad about the rules he made and I couldn’t understand but now looking back I realize he did it all out of love and to make me the person I am today. Dad raised me to be a tough, stubborn, caring, and positive person, just like him. I also got my athleticism from him. One day I challenged him to a foot race and was shocked when he beat me. I was also lucky enough to get some of my best features from Dad. My round face, little round chin, blue eyes and big muscles.
We also shared the same sense of humor. We enjoyed watching and quoting Anchorman 2 together. Our favorite quote was “The wind is very windy.”
The biggest passion we shared was basketball. Ever since I started playing, he was the ultimate coach. Even though I had actual coaches, no one could teach me like he could. He has driven me thousands of miles; between my PAL years, travel teams, AAU teams and jr. high & high school; we have traveled all throughout New England and even to Washington D.C. He was at every single game of mine. I would always look at him in the stands. If my shot was off, he would tuck his elbow in, bend his knees, point at his toes or mimic a follow through. He was my biggest fan and critic. Even if I had a great game, there was always room for improvement and he would let me know that. He always pushed me to work hard to be my best, but also that it was just a game. Dad was there for me, for many victories as well as many losses.
Dad was not only proud of my sweet basketball skills but also proud of me academically. He was excited that I would be pursuing a nursing degree and he will be thrilled when I reach our goal. My dad is my biggest hero and the person I look up to the most. I strive to be the kind of person he was - perfect.
Dad and I always ended our conversations with our awesome handshake then I would say I” love you”, to which he would say “I love you more” and I’d follow with “I love you most!”
Before I end, I am going to have to let one of dad’s secrets out: when my siblings weren’t around he’d let me know that I was the favorite.

So Dad…. I love you most.

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The following was presented by Mike's son Ethan at his father's Celebration of Life on Saturday March 16, 2019:

As soon as I could walk, I did nothing without my dad right by my side. During the years I had with dad he taught me everything I needed to know, especially how and where to hold the flashlight. If I was doing anything wrong, Dad wouldn’t let up until it was right. Dad taught me everything I love doing now. As soon as I could go hunting with him, I took up the opportunity. Even though not much luck came my way the first couple of years he took me out, he always managed to get one. I think this had to do with the 8 hours in a tree he spent every day he had off during hunting season. The day I shot my first deer was perhaps the coldest day in 2015, but we were out sitting in the treestand before sunlight. I was getting disappointed as the end of the season was closing in and I had another year with nothing, then I heard dad whisper, “buck buck!” I didn't believe him at first because he said this jokingly all the time. That's just how he was. He stopped the deer about half way down our lane and it felt like forever before I built up the courage to pull the trigger, or “squeeze it” like dad would always tell me. I looked up from the scope and dad was so happy. I knew I had hit it. We walked down into the lane and found a bunch of blood, and there it sat about 50 feet from where I had shot it. After finding it dad made me do the rest of the work. I got it up to the house, and gutted it with dads guidance and then I dragged it into the garage where we hung it up and proceeded to skin and quarter it. We brought in one quarter at a time and cut it up, making sure there was not one piece of fat or hair on it, and then packaged it. This was one of the best things that Dad and I had ever done together because hunting meant so much to him. Hunting was dad's favorite thing to do and I just wanted to make him proud.
Dad also loved fishing, particularly ice fishing, or “ice drinking” as he liked to call it. Dad loved nothing more than to be out on the ice with his traps in the water before sunrise. Depending on the day the drinking commenced after his traps were in. This is where dad cooked most of his deer meat, out on the ice, and this is where it tastes the best in my opinion. He was a diehard, nothing stopped dad from getting out on the ice. I recall one morning at Sebec Lake (dad's favorite ice fishing spot), we got out of the truck and it was 22 below. But we stayed out there, the whole day.
Aside from everything Dad loved to do, he also taught me everything he needed to do. Dad was very specific on how he did things, and if you watch me now, I don't think you could tell a difference. He taught me everything from school, when my teachers weren't the best, to working on cars and stuff such as the lawn mower. I did nothing without Dad and he was always a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on, and an amazing mentor. As I got older and was more capable of doing things, I am pretty sure dad did nothing without me whether he wanted to or not. But I am positive, he wouldn't want it any other way. I basically took over the care of the house a couple of years ago, when he no longer could. I think perhaps the day we all found out about his brain tumor was the worst day of all our lives. Shortly after his diagnosis he underwent surgery in Boston to remove part of the tumor. I stayed home to take care of the house while they were gone. During this time, we had gotten a blizzard that dropped over 2 feet of snow, the storm kept me busy for practically the whole day. Just two short days after dad's surgery he was home, just like nothing had ever happened. In fact I had gotten my snowmobile stuck in the deep snow that weekend, after I tried to get it out I shamefully walked into my house to tell dad. He then told me he had been watching and laughing at me for the past 30 minutes. I convinced him to come and help me. Dad walks over to the sled, stuck in about 4 feet of snow and simply lifts it up above the snow, and rode it to the garage, laughing at me the whole way.
I'm going to say something now that I know will make dad smile, he was absolutely the strongest, most jacked old man I have ever met in my life. I mean like he was buff. He wasn't afraid to show it either; by whopping me at arm wrestles, and making things that were impossible for me, seem like nothing to him. Dad continued living life as normal for the next year and some change, defeating the odds everyday when he would wake up, get dressed and carry out normal life. As the days got longer and harder for me and the family, Dad kept a smile on his face and always made me laugh no matter how he was feeling. In just the short 16 years I got with my best friend, he made me into the man I am today. The last few months with dad were the worst for all of us. Nobody will ever know the pain of seeing their best friend, their superhero, their own father need help to get up and walk. But my dad, being the strongest person I know kept a smile on his face all the time, and never really told us how he felt, simply because he didn't want me to see him upset or sad. Even though dad had all of his own struggles to deal with, I am pretty sure he couldn't care about himself less. Even when dad couldn't walk, everytime someone left he would always say, “watch out for the moat” which made me laugh every time, and lastly he would say, “drive safe”. Dad was the most caring and loving person I have ever met, and I am sure he will hold that record for the rest of my life. I can tell you guys one thing, and that is: not one day will go by where I don't think of my Dad and bestfriend, and there will absolutely not be a day where I don't strive to make Dad prouder than ever.