Bobby Ray Caudle, 92, of Roanoke, VA, went to his Heavenly Home on July 25, 2021. Bob was the second son of Edna Irene Norton (Peggy) and James Oakley Caudle (of North Carolina).
He is survived by his wife of 68 years Esther Mae (Bowman) Caudle, sons Bobby Ray Caudle, Jr. and Sterling Allen Caudle, grandchildren Ryan Allen Caudle, Bobby Ray Caudle, III, Sara Marie Caudle and Susana Christelle Caudle. His great grandchildren are Mira Ellise Caudle and Percephone Christelle Caudle. He is also survived by his brother Howard Caudle and niece Karen Kessler. Bob was preceded in death by his older brother Billy DeLeon Caudle and his younger brother Jimmy Dean Caudle.
Bob graduated from Andrew Lewis High School in 1946 and the Virginia Military Institute in 1952, with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Bob was a cheerleader at Andrew Lewis and played second base on the baseball team at VMI. He served his country in the Armored Branch of the US Army at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Camp Carson, Colorado, and in Korea.
His career began with Norfolk & Western Railway as an Engineering Surveyor – Draftsman in Roanoke. He next became a Sales Engineer with the Armstrong Cork Company in Kansas City, Missouri. Bob moved on to CE Thurston and Sons as Manager of the Roanoke Territory and Manager of Richmond Industrial – Commercial Contract Insulations. He founded Caudle – Hyatt Inc., an Industrial Insulation Contractor in Hopewell, VA. Moving on to Greenville, SC Bob was a Salesman/Vice President of Covil Insulation/Construction Companies. Returning to Richmond, VA, he managed the Richmond branch office for American Refrigeration Contractors Inc., then returning to his Roanoke home, Bob was the President/Owner of Dunhill Professional Search of Roanoke Valley Inc. After retiring, he worked part time for American Door and Glass in Salem and the Roanoke and Salem Civic Centers.
Over the years Bob served in numerous capacities including Chairman of the Board of Deacons, Elder, Choir Member, and Building and Grounds at various Presbyterian Churches. These included River Road Presbyterian, Richmond, Virginia, Ginter Park Presbyterian, Richmond, Virginia, John Knox Presbyterian, Greenville, South Carolina, and Covenant Presbyterian, Roanoke, Virginia. Bob recommitted and accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior within six months of his death.
Bob had a keen interest in Civic and Community Organizations and activities. During the late 1960’s racial integration process, he was Co Chair of the Ginter Park Community Association, along with the President of Virginia Union University, in Richmond Virginia. The group was recognized as a major factor in a smooth transition of racial relations. Bob served as President of the Greater Deyerle Community Association for several years, working with many City Offices and Organizations. He belonged to Kiwanis. Bob was a member of the Virginia League of Municipalities.
For many years, he participated and helped organize events for his beloved VMI chapters, his beloved Class of 1952 Classmates, and his Brother Rats. Bob’s lifelong best friend from VMI, Bruce Calvin Wells, Jr. preceded him in death in Richmond in 1999. Bob enjoyed helping others in time of need. With any considerable snow, he’d be found on his John Deere Tractor helping others.
Bob loved sports, including golf, bowling, tennis, baseball, softball, basketball, water and snow skiing, and anything else his family would participate in. He could be found as a regular on the links at Hermitage Country Club in Richmond, Virginia, also Hidden Valley Country Club in Roanoke. On March 18, 1979 Bob hit a six iron on the 165 yard Sixth Hole of the Lake Nine of Hermitage Country Club’s Broad Run Course that ended in the cup for a Hole in One. Bob, Esther Mae and son Bob Jr. bowled together for years in the Viking Church league, representing Covenant Presbyterian Church, at Viking Lanes. Bob served on the Board of the Roanoke Bowling Association. Any sports or other activities his sons or grandchildren participated in, Bob and Esther Mae would do their best to be there cheering them on.
The family wishes to thank the excellent staff at the Salem Veterans Administration Medical Center for the outstanding care Bob received over the years and especially during the last days of his life.
There will be a memorial service to honor his life on Saturday, July 24th at 11:00 am at Cave Spring Baptist Church, 4873 Brambleton Avenue, Roanoke. The family will be there to greet friends from 10:30 until 11:00 and after the service.
In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions to your favorite charity.
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