obituaries

Tom Caffey

Alton |

Tom W. Caffey, 81, peacefully accepted Christ’s hand and entered into eternal rest at home while surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday, May 25, 2021. He was born in Grenada, MS, on Sunday, December 31, 1939, the son of the late Thomas and Almeter (Crowder) Caffey.

The Caffey family relocated from Grenada to Twist,  AK, and subsequently to Alton, IL, in 1951. His education began in the public schools of Twist and continued at Central Junior High, West Junior High, and Alton High School. He graduated in 1959 from Alton High School where he was an outstanding student-athlete, excelling in track and football. He was always a very serious-minded, committed student, and believed firmly in the pursuit of higher and continuing education. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Naval Service and served on the U.S.S. Eaton.

After his military duties, he matriculated at Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville and received a B.A. degree in Sociology. He was employed at Airco Reduction Co. and the Alton School District as an Alternative Education teacher. He later retired as a gas plant operator from Shell Oil Co. after 22½ years in 2000. After retirement, he was a substitute teacher and worked as a mentor/tutor in the Stars (tutorial) Program in the Alton School District. In 1969 he was united in marriage to Vernetta Greer of Denmark, TN. To this union, they were blessed with three sons: Rodney Duane Caffey, Brandon LaMont Caffey, and Gregory Allan Caffey. With a marriage focused on commitment to God first, vows second, and each other third, God sustained their union for 52 years. With God’s divine guidance, they built a wonderful and rich life together. Tom was an active member of Greater St. James Baptist Church in Alton where he served in various ministries with exemplary leadership skills, in particular as Chairman of the Deacon Ministry for over 30 years. His abiding faith in God and his commitment, dedication, and devotion to the family added great strength to his life. He was also a great humanitarian, extending God’s grace to all walks of life. Part of his ministry was taking care of widows, orphans, and the elderly. There was no “color” in his vision and his generous spirit extended to all people. He spent countless hours preparing and delivering food of all varieties to the elderly and taking communion to nursing homes and private homes for the sick and shut-in.

His life of servant leadership resulted in countless honors and distinctions for civic, religious, Masonic, and community involvement. To cherish his memories and continue his legacy, Tom leaves: his devoted wife and caregiver, Vernetta; sons Rodney (Desira), Brandon (Shomari), and Greg; 7 grandchildren, Jada, Ahmad, Julian, Brooklyn, Jaxon, London and Dallas; 1 step grandchild, Jasmine Davis; sisters, Secnoba Combs, Chicago, IL, and Minnie P. Robinson, Alton, IL; 2 special daughters, Chatka Collins, Alton, IL and Tiffany Walker, Chicago, IL; 3 goddaughters, T. Shawn Taylor, Oak Park, IL, Erica McFall (Jon), Sacremento, CA, and Elaine Johnson (Michael), Durham, NC.; 3 adopted sons, Ricky Kimbrough, Atlanta, GA, Greg Collins (Shannon), Northeast, MD, and Kevin Ward (Soy), St. Louis, MO; godmother, Choice Shepperd, Godfrey, IL; godbrother, Charles Shepperd, Jr. (Carmen), Greensboro, NC; Many special friends – Childhood friend, Spencer Tyson (Lois), Oak Park, IL; High-school friend, Armelia Carman Jefferson, St. Louis, MO; Navy friend, James Shaw (Yvonne), Huber Heights, OH; a special cousin who he shared a special relationship with since age 3, William Paul Smith, Waukegan, IL; and host of nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws. He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Almeter Caffey; brothers, AC and Johnnie Lee; sister, Emma Lee Hardiman; 2 nephews, John T. Hardiman and Roy Rogers Walker; 7 brothers-in-law, Frank Combs, Rev. Lonnie Reeves, Charlie Albert Hardiman, Essic Robinson, Charles Greer, Roman Steward, and Harold Cunningham. In celebration of his life, visitation will occur on Saturday, June 5 from 9 AM until the time of funeral service at 11 AM at Greater St. James Baptist Church, 2016 Belle St, Alton, IL. - Rev. Don L. Sanford officiating. Burial will follow at Upper Alton Cemetery. Services entrusted to Cathy Williams & Sons Funeral Home in Alton.

Please follow all applicable COVID protocols.


Obit Provided By:
Cathy M Williams & Sons Funeral Home

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