Glenn Leigh Caldwell, a retired telecommunications manager and Korean War veteran, was also a musician, singer, handyman and doting grandfather.
Caldwell, 80, died at his Petaluma home on Dec. 6 of pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer that stemmed from his wartime service aboard a Navy vessel, his family said.
Elaine Caldwell described her husband as a "kind, gentle soul" who "always knew the right thing to say to anybody" and never hesitated to use his "Mr. Fixit" skills around the house, his church or for a friend.
A singer and banjo player, Caldwell played in a musical group at Petaluma United Methodist Church and sang in the church choir.
In his last year, he taught himself the intricacies of banjo repair and refurbished his own instrument, said his daughter, Chris Caldwell-Collins of Petaluma.
Her father was an engaging conversationalist who also had a keen, analytical mind, Caldwell-Collins said.
Working in her father's stock brokerage office as a teen, Caldwell-Collins said she learned from him the fundamentals of business that she has applied in her own career as a human resources manager.
"He was very big on thinking logically," she said.
Caldwell also loved music and family, and was "just wild about his grandchildren," his daughter said.
Born in Detroit, Mich. in 1932, Caldwell attended a private school, living with the headmaster and his wife, then graduated from high school in Detroit, where he sang in the school and church choirs.