At 3:38 PM on September 5, 2011, Calvin Coolidge Wilder, Sr., surrounded by family, peacefully departed this earthly life for eternal life. He was born on October 5, 1923 in Brownsville, TN to Van and Betty (Kennon) Wilder. He received his formal education at the Haywood County Training School. Brother Wilder entered the US Army in 1942 and was honorably discharged in 1945. After his discharge from the Army, he enrolled in Tennessee Agriculture and Industrial State College (Tennessee State) majoring in industrial engineering under the G.I. bill. Calvin re-entered the US Army in June 1946 and served until August 1969. During his Army career, Brother Wilder was stationed at Japan (1951); Korea (1952); Walter Reed Army Hospital (1954); Valley Forge Army Hospital (1958); Korea (1961); Germany (1963); and retired from the US Army at Fort Lewis, Washington as a Command Sergeant Major with outstanding decorations and medals. Following his Army retirement, he was employed at Pennhurst State School and Hospital as a Personnel Analyst for 15 years. Brother Wilder was a Cub Scout leader and a volunteer for Pottstown Meals-On-Wheels.
Brother Wilder professed Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in 1954 and became a member of Second Baptist Church, Pottstown, PA. Brother Wilder served on many ad hoc committees and was a member of the Board of Trustees.
Mr. Wilder joined Keystone Lodge No. 113 Free & Accepted Masons in 1956. He was elected Worshipful Master 1964-1965. He was elected Lodge Secretary in 1972 and continued to serve until 1986. He served as Secretary of the Fourth Masonic District Council in 1976. He became a member of Keystone Chapter #87, O.E.S. and was elected Worthy Patron in 1983 serving in this office until 1997. Brother Wilder was also an active member of Mt. Pisgah Lodge #32, Norristown, PA. He was an active member of the Prince Hall Masons for over 50 years.
Calvin married Eutropia B. Shepard of Stanton, TN on January 24, 1941. Calvin and Eutropia were married for 66 years when she passed on March 31, 2007. To this union, 8 children were produced: Victor C. Deanna) of Pineville, LA; Victoria B. Crews of Columbus, OH, Thaylord C. (deceased); Gaylord (deceased); Caltropia B. of Philadelphia, PA; Calvin C. Jr. (Jacquelyn) of Sanatoga, PA; Van C. (Lynette) of Reading, PA and Israel C. (Trina) of Palm Desert, CA. Calvin was preceded in death by Bernice Wilder Moore (sister). Brother Wilder also leaves 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren to cherish his memory.
The Homegoing Services will be held on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 11:00 AM with the family visitation from 9:30-11:00 AM. A Masonic observance will occur at 10:30 AM. All services will be held at First United Methodist Church, 414 High St., Pottstown, with Rev. Dr. Vernon Ross, Jr. officiating.