Allen Tribble Caldwell
Allen Tribble Caldwell
  • June 4, 1945 - July 31, 2017
  • Greenville, South Carolina

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Allen Tribble Caldwell, 72, of Greenville, SC passed away Monday, July 31, 2017.

Tribble grew up in the small town of Royston, Georgia, the place he still referred to as “home” all these years later. Tribble and his wife Jennie were high school sweethearts who recently celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary. The couple is a true testament of lifetime love and commitment. Tribble’s love for Jennie was timeless—she was not only the love of his life but his best friend. After finishing pharmacy school at the University of Georgia, Tribble and Jennie moved to Greenville. Here he planted roots and made a life with a wonderful 40-year career at General Hospital, then Greenville Hospital System. He was a longtime member of Buncombe Street United Methodist Church and the Round Table Sunday School class.

Tribble was an avid athlete who played defensive tackle at the University of Georgia. As any true Georgia boy would dream of, his crowning athletic achievement was an imposing sack against Steve Spurrier in the Georgia-Florida Freshman Game, for which he received a personal foul. He also played rugby into his 40s, ran with the 5:45 Runners Club, rode his bike to the top of Mount Mitchell multiple times, ran in the Marine Corps marathon, and was even known to ride his bike from Greenville to the beach and back. Tribble was a triathlete/marathoner before it was in vogue and had his own triathlon, affectionately dubbed “Tribble’s Triathlon.”

The ultimate family man, Tribble was a ferocious advocate for his children (just ask the Sara Collins Principal circa 1988). He appeared at his son’s proms with a video camera and proudly accumulated a hundred copies of his daughter’s achievements in print. He was an expert at cheesy poems, Christmas scavenger hunts for the most perfect gift, and inspirational quotes (such as “A’int nothing to it but to do it” and, while dropping off his children at their college destinations, “Work for four years and play for forty, or play for four years and work for forty”).

Tribble was a lover of Georgia Football, Athens “Y” Camp, wide brim hats, Indian mounds, family, and especially Jennie Gaines. Above all he was best known for his kindness and the way he loved others. He had an infectious giving spirit of his time and love and never met a stranger or forgot a face. His own children and six grandchildren were the apples of his eye, and he was a father to many besides Rush-Baker and Caroline. Affectionately known as “Daddy T” to his grandchildren, he attended all their sporting events and always cheered loudest. He loved well, and even in death, his legacy made its way into the hearts of those at the CCU at Greenville Memorial, to whom his family is forever grateful for loving our Tribble in his time of crisis.

He is survived by his wife: Wife: Jennie Gaines Caldwell, age 71; son: Dr. Rush-Baker Gaines Caldwell and Mary DuPre Watson Caldwell and their children Leland Watson Caldwell, Tribble Brooks Caldwell, Gaines DuPre Caldwell, and Mary Gulledge Caldwell; Daughter: Caroline Caldwell Van Hook and James Martin Van Hook and their children Charles Allen Van Hook, and Stewart-Henry Van Hook; and his parents: Mary Stewart Brown Barnes, Burt Francis Barnes (stepfather), and Allen Tribble Caldwell. Other living family: brother, Stewart Wesley Caldwell and his wife Ann Caldwell; brother-in-law, Gordon Zeese; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Jerry and Zadie Gaines.

He was predeceased by his siblings: Delina Jane Clements and Susan Caldwell Zeese.

The family will receive friends Thursday, August 3, 2017 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at Buncombe Street United Methodist Church.

A memorial service will be held at 11am Friday, August 4, 2017 at Buncombe Street United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Buncombe Street United Methodist Church, 200 Buncombe Street, Greenville, SC 29601, or to Athens Y Camp, 1000 Y Camp Road, Lakemont, GA 30552.