Society

Caffey


Mr. Caffey Mr. Caffey James Alton Caf fey, age 100 plus, passed from this life peacefully on Dec. 2, 2017. Al ton was born June 29, 1917, to James Arthur and Bessie (Rolan) Caffey near the Millerton community, about eight miles southwest of Rockdale, in Milam County. He was the first-born of five children.

Alton, also called “J.A.” by his friends, was raised in the 1920’s and 30’s on the hardscrabble cotton farms of Milam County and West Texas. This tough upbringing early on instilled in him the meaning and value of hard work and self-reliance, learning that common sense and determination would help lead him to success in life. These early years actually made him into the man he became. Even into his 80’s, few could keep up with him when he had a goal in sight.

In early 1937, at the age of 19, Alton left the hard times and Depression-era cotton farms behind and moved to Houston seeking a better future. In 1940 he married a true angel, Nancy Evelyn Overman, also of Milam County, and working together they built a successful life and raised two sons. Alton and Evelyn enjoyed 63 years together until her passing.

Alton spent his working career as a machinist, working at Hughes Tool for 37 years. Always striving to be self-reliant, he mastered other skills along the way. He taught himself auto repair, welding, and many of the building trade skills. Anyone who needed help with a car problem, machine repair, a trailer built or a building put together, could always count on “J.A.” to step up.

After retirement in 1980, he and Evelyn returned to Rockdale where they became involved with the New Salem Community organization. Alton also worked a one acre garden for 25 years, keeping friends in tomatoes and fresh vegetables each season.

From a young age Alton always enjoyed hunting, fishing, and especially camping on the shore of a lake or river. Squirrel stew and fried yellowcat remained high on his list of favorites. When the boys were young, he had a lot of fun pulling them around on water skis and teaching them how to set a trot line. He was still camping, tending the fire, passing out fishing advice and building fond memories well into his 90’s.

Preceding Alton in death were his parents, Arthur and Bessie Caffey; and siblings Oral “Buddy” Caffey, Dean Caffey and Novelene Caffey Currey. He lost the one true love of his life, his wife Evelyn in 2003 and then his youngest son Stanley in 2011.

He is survived by one brother, Byron Caffey; one son, Charles Caffey and wife Margie; three grandchildren, Cindy Kralis, Scott Caffey and Gail Caffey; five great-grandchildren, Patrick, Holly, Cara, Allie and Jade; and three great-great-grandchildren, Marley, Kyvah and Mary Jane; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Alton, we are going to miss you, with your soft heart and good humor as well as your toughness and hard head. You set a great example of a race well run, from the difficult start to the blazing finish.

Arrangements are by Phillips & Luckey Funeral Home, 1041 W. Hwy 79, Rockdale, TX 76567, 512-446-5454. Please join the family for visitation Thursday night, Dec. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. Services to be held at the funeral home Friday, Dec. 8, at 1 p.m. with graveside service following at the Salty Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in the name of James Alton Caffey to the Salty Cemetery Association, c/o Rebecca McWilliams, 230 County Road 447, Thorndale, TX 76577.


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