Cover photo for Claude "Bill" William Caddell's Obituary
Claude "Bill" William Caddell Profile Photo

Claude "Bill" William Caddell

November 12, 1943 — June 25, 2023


Claude "Bill" William Caddell

Claude William “Bill” Caddell, 79, Clinton County, Indiana, passed away on June 25, 2023.

Bill was born Nov. 12, 1943, in Michigan City, Indiana to Esther May (Dickinson) and Elmer Edgar Caddell.  He was married to Rheta Hofland Beaver from 1969-2005.  He married Florence Fowler Burdine in 2006.

Bill graduated from Westville High School, 1962, was an Eagle Scout and active in student government and National Honor Society.  A 1966 graduate of Hanover College, he studied one year at the University of Exeter, England and majored in Political Science.  Bill graduated from Indiana University, 1973, with a master’s degree in Library Science.

He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force from 1967–1971 and was stationed in Korea and Japan.

He lived in rural Clinton County and was able to claim that he owned as far as he could see.

Named Clinton County Citizen of the Year in 1974, he spearheaded a community recycling effort and worked on the team that saved Old Stoney, even climbing onto the roof and cleaning out the gutters of what was once the Frankfort High School.

Bill was the Library Director of the Frankfort Community Public Library/Clinton County Contractual Libraries for over 30 years.  Bill considered founding the Clinton County Contractual Public Library in 1984 his greatest accomplishment providing library service to 11,000 people who previously did not have any library service.

Under his tenure, 3 new branch libraries were built and a 39,000 sq. ft. cultural center wing was added to the Frankfort Library.  All additions were constructed without a bond issue.  The library hosted energy conservation workshops drawing speakers and audiences of over 1000 people from across the United States.

He implemented the concept of the library as a cultural center at the Frankfort Library.  He developed the Anna and Harlan Hubbard School of Living based on the philosophy of making life a work of art.  He guided library staff and volunteers in developing arts programs, musical performances and art show fundraisers as well as free programs for children including art classes, piano lessons and youth theatre.  One year, the art show sales exceeded $60,000 in 3 days.  These events supported artists, library arts programs and the library art collection.

In 1999, Bill Caddell and the Friends of the Frankfort Library were recognized for their support of the arts with a Governor’s Arts Award.  In 2006, he was recognized with a Community Arts Leadership Award as Arts Administrator for the State of Indiana.  In 2006, he was recognized nationally for his efforts at the Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services with an award presented to Bill by former First Lady Laura Bush at the White House.  In 2007, Bill received a Distinguished Hoosier award recognizing him as “an individual who has earned the respect and admiration of Hoosiers across the state.”

Caddell raised approximately one million dollars to endow aspects of library service and saved money in the Library Improvement Reserve Fund to pay for a new roof and other building expenses.  Money was saved in the Gift Fund and the Clinton County Community Foundation.

After retiring from the Frankfort Library, Bill was named Interim Library Director at the Monticello Union Township Public Library.  He shared the process of how to host art show fundraisers with Monticello, Plainfield and Nappanee Public Libraries.

He championed his hero, Kentucky artist, Harlan Hubbard, promoting Hubbard’s art and sustainable living.  Bill met Hubbard while a student at Hanover College.  Bill donated funds to have the gallery at the Frankfort Library named in honor of the Hubbards and built the Harlan Hubbard Memorial Gallery at his home.  He authored books about Hubbard’s woodcuts and watercolors and shared Hubbard’s art nationwide.

Bill was an avid organic gardener growing flowers and vegetables for family and friends.  He was a crusader for the environment, living as self-sufficiently and lightly on the earth as possible.

At Christmas, he baked hundreds of loaves of cinnamon swirl egg bread and gave them away to family, friends, library employees, Board members, volunteers and donors.

John Egelhoff, former Frankfort City Planner, once said, “Bill Caddell facilitated the sort of free expression of intellect, art, research, performance, and culture that makes America truly great.”

Bill is survived by his wife Florence Fowler Caddell, son Michael Edgar Caddell (Dr. Emily Dringenberg), daughter Elizabeth Marie Caddell Chenoweth (Paul), stepsons Brad Burdine (Andrea) and Gary Burdine, grandchildren Cameron Henry Chenoweth, Edie Marie & Everley Adeline Caddell, step-grandchildren Gemma Claire & Miles Owen Burdine.  Three brothers, Richard Winfield, James Dickinson & John Carlton & 2 sisters, Ruth Elizabeth & Margaret Grace, preceded him in death.

Visitation will be held Saturday, July 1, 2023, from 10 am until the time of the memorial service at 11am at Amanda Reid Chapel at Wesley Manor.  Following the service there will be food and fellowship in the Social Center at Wesley Manor to share more stories and memories of Bill.  Pastor Deborah Musick and Guardian Angels Chaplain Ken Rushing will officiate.

Those who wish to express condolences to the family may do so at

Memorials can be made to any of the following funds at the Clinton County Community Foundation: Nancy N. Fullerton Fund for the Anna & Harlan Hubbard School of Living, Frankfort Library; Mulberry Community Library Endowment; Gene & Linda Marshall Community Fund.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Claude "Bill" William Caddell, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Visitation

Saturday, July 1, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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