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SMSGT (Ret.) Jesse N. Caughman, Jr.January 15, 1928 ~ July 12, 2017 (age 89)
Jesse Nolton Caughman, Jr., at the age of 89, passed away on July 12, 2017, at National HealthCare Corporation (NHC) Parklane Nursing Home in Columbia, SC. He was born on January 15, 1928 in New Brookland (West Columbia), South Carolina, to the late Reverend Jesse Nolton and Eva Davis Caughman. Jesse’s early education was in the public schools of Lexington County in South Carolina. He graduated from Lakeview High School and continued his education, earning a bachelor’s degree in History from Allen University.
Jesse was the son of an A.M.E minister and accepted Christ at an early age. He was a member of Double Branch A.M.E. Church (now Turner Memorial A.M.E. Church) in West Columbia, SC. He faithfully served in many capacities to include: Gold Star Member of Turner Memorial A.M.E. Church, Chair Pro-Tem of the Steward Board; Chairman of Commission on Stewardship and Finance; Wednesday Night Prayer Service and Prayer Leader; Class Leader; Sunday School Superintendent; Sunday School Teacher of Adult Class; Director, Vacation Bible School; organizer of the first Sunday School breakfast; Member, Lay Organization; Member, Turner Memorial Senior Choir; Member, Turner Memorial Men’s Choir; Church Aid Club; Treasurer of the Board of Director’s, Turner Child Development Center; former Sunday School Superintendent of the Columbia District; and organizer of the first youth Steward’s Pageant. He was also honored as Turner Memorial’s Man of the Year.
Jesse was a proud veteran of the Armed Forces, having served in two different military branches. He served in the United States Navy from January 1946 to November 1947 and in the United States Air Force from February 1951 to July 1972. Early in his Air Force career, Jesse married Ruby Muller. They were married on the evening of March 12, 1953 at the Parsonage of Turner Memorial A.M.E. Church. Out of this union, four children were born. Jesse was honorably discharged in 1972 after serving over 23 years in the military.
Upon retiring from the Air Force, he returned home to Columbia and worked for the State of South Carolina in the Office of Economic Opportunity, a division of the Governor’s Office. Upon his retirement 16 years later, he was honored with “The Order of the Palmetto” from the State of South Carolina. The award, which is the state’s highest honor, was presented to Jesse by the governor for his loyal and faithful service.
Jesse was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. Next to God, his family was the most important thing in life. His love for the Lord was evident by the many lives he touched and the love shown to everyone who knew him. Jesse loved baseball, fishing and spending time with his family. He was a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
Jesse was predeceased by: his parents, Reverend Jesse Nolton and Eva Davis Caughman, Sr.; his sister, Evelyn Patterson; and a granddaughter, Ashley Hicks-Caughman.
His memories will be cherished by his devoted wife of 64 years, Ruby; three sons: Bruce (Deborah) Caughman, Allan (Corsha) Caughman and Stanley (Penelope) Caughman; two daughters, Shiann (Carl) Owens and Maeward (Leonard) Belk; nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends.