Robert (Bob) Nelson Caid
passed away on July 10, 2013 after a short but valiant battle with cancer. He will be missed by his surviving family, friends and work associates. He lived a long, healthy life of 92 years and was still active in his garden until finally being incapacitated by his cancer. Bob was the husband of Callie E. Caid, father to William R. Caid and step-father to Susan Porter, Sandy Woods and Nancy Zelenack. Born of Thomas A. Caid and Teresa Swyers on July 4, 1921 in Lowell, AZ, Bob was the second youngest of the Caid sons which consisted of (in birth order) Thomas, Arthur (Butch), Earl, Bob and Jim. Bob's father, Thomas A. Caid, a pioneer in Southern Arizona sheet metal, started a business in Bisbee, AZ in 1917. Later in Tucson, in conjunction with a partner, "Hearn and Caid Sheet Metal" was formed in 1927. In 1947 T.A. Caid and Sons was founded. Bob graduated from Tucson High School and learned to fly in the civilian aviation program during early college. After receiving his pilot's license, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC) in January of 1941 as a pilot cadet. Upon completion of his training program he earned his commission as a second Lieutenant and was deployed to the European Theater. During his war-time missions Bob flew both Mark 5 and Mark 8 Spitfire fighters with USAAC. Bob saw combat action in North Africa, Malta (as part of the invasion of Sicily), Sicily and Italy flying a total of 114 missions against the Axis powers. He participated in the Salerno, Anzio and Cassino campaigns frequently flying from beachhead positions. In early May, 1944 as part of the Anzio campaign, Bob engaged a flight of Focke-Wulf 190 aircraft intent on attacking Allied soldiers on the beachhead. Outnumbered 2:1, he expertly piloted his Spitfire against the Axis aircraft scoring one confirmed kill and thwarting the enemy attack. For these efforts, Bob was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Bob was also awarded the Air Medal with eight Oak Leaf Clusters. On his return to stateside he met his first wife, Mary Sue Feaster, in Sarasota, FL. They were married in 1944 and they gave birth to their only son William in 1953. Sue later died in 1965. Shortly after her death, Bob was introduced to his current wife Callie by mutual friends. They were married shortly thereafter. In addition to being a combat pilot of the Mark 8 Spitfire, Bob was also a P-51 Mustang instructor pilot at Biggs Field near El Paso, TX. Finally attaining the rank of Captain, U.S. Army Air Corps, he retired to civilian life in 1945 and returned to complete his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Arizona graduating in 1951. He was a brother in the Sigma Chi fraternity at UofA. After brief employment stints in Syracuse, NY and Glendale, CA, Bob returned to T.A. Caid and Sons, the family business, where he assumed a major role in the operation of the company. Bob took over as President of Caid and Sons in 1974 and during his stewardship expanded the business from sheet metal only to light steel design and fabrication services for Tucson's mining industry. Bob was key at Caid and Sons in starting work with the mining industries during the 1960's. The firm grew from $5 million sales and 40 employees in 1974 to its current size of 250 employees and $40-50 million in sales worldwide. Caid and Sons, currently CAID Industries, is a major force in Tucson's economy and one of the city's largest employers. Bob retired in 1983 to devote himself to his family and personal pursuits. In his later years Bob and Callie traveled the world enjoying life to its fullest. In addition to travel outside North America, Bob and Callie logged over 250,000 miles in their fifth wheel trailer exploring the United States, Canada and Mexico. He was an avid fisherman and caught many kinds of game fish out of La Paz, Mexico and Kona, HI. Bob and his surviving wife Callie were active members of Northwest Community Church in Oro Valley. He will be best remembered by his friends and associates for his peanut brittle, world-class watermelons and his ability to recite Rudyard Kipling's "Gunga Din" from memory. Rest in peace. A Memorial Service for Bob will be held at Northwest Community Church, 505 West Hardy Road, Tucson, AZ 85704 at 10:00 a.m. on August 10, 2013. Donations should be sent to Casa de la Luz Hospice, 7740 N. Oracle, Tucson, AZ 85704. See www.billcaid.com for complete memorial with photos.