West Plains, MO Location (417) 256-4141

Thayer, MO Location (417) 264-7242


Freda Mae Caldwell, daughter of the late Roy Lee Hurtt and Grace McHenry Hurtt, was born June 15, 1934, in Many Islands, Arkansas, and departed this life on May 23, 2022, surrounded by her family in her home in Thayer, Missouri, at the age of 87 years, 11 months, and 8 days.

She was united in marriage on April 18, 1954, in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas, to John Carl (J.C.) Caldwell, and they recently celebrated 68 years of marriage.

She is survived by her husband, J.C., of the home in Thayer, Missouri; two sons, Steve Caldwell and wife Leisa of Maryville, Tennessee, and Stanley Caldwell and wife Regina of Thayer, Missouri; two daughters, Sherry Smith of Thayer, Missouri, and Shelly Leisenring and husband Dennis of Nixa, Missouri; fourteen grandchildren, Craig Smith and wife Becca of Nixa, Missouri, Lauren Rudd and husband Josh of Maryville, Tennessee, Rachel Harris and husband Billy of Thayer, Missouri, Jered Smith and wife Summer of West Plains, Missouri, Adam Caldwell and wife Brittany of Springfield, Missouri, C.J. Leisenring and wife Abbie of Harrisburg, Arkansas, Dylan Smith and wife Heather of West Plains, Missouri, Derek Leisenring and wife Tiffany of Valparaiso, Nebraska, Lendl Caldwell and wife Sarah of Knoxville, Tennessee, Shayna Caldwell of Springfield, Missouri, Ethan Leisenring and wife Sarah of Nixa, Missouri, Leslie McIntosh and husband Weston of Mansfield, Missouri, Travis Smith of West Plains, Missouri and Cody Caldwell of Thayer, Missouri; and twenty-four great-grandchildren.  She is also survived by three sisters-in-law, Anita Caldwell, Shirley Caldwell, and Doris Hurtt.

She was preceded in death by her parents; one son, Doug Caldwell; one grandson, Landon Caldwell; three brothers, Eugene Hurtt, Earl Hurtt, and Boyd Hurtt; four sisters, Lorene Young, Retha Frizzell, and infant twin sisters, Fae and Mae Hurtt.

Freda and her sister Retha owned a children’s clothing store in Thayer for several years named The Gingerbread Boutique and took pride in providing quality clothing for the children in this area and all of the ruffles and ribbons that you can imagine.

 She was a member of the Mammoth Spring Church of Christ and taught bible classes for children for decades.  She was a homemaker for the majority of her life and much preferred to take care of others rather than let anyone take care of her, even if she needed assistance.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at act.alz.org, which is the largest non-profit funder of Alzheimer’s disease research.

Funeral services for Freda Caldwell will be held on Friday, May 27, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. at the Mammoth Spring Church of Christ in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas with Brother Gerald Fears and Brother Barry O’Dell officiating.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, May 26, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Carter Funeral Home in Thayer, Missouri.

Interment will be on Friday, May 27, 2022, in Thayer Cemetery in Thayer, Missouri with services under the direction of Carter Funeral Home, Inc. in Thayer, Missouri.

For those unable to attend the funeral service, it will be livestreamed on the Facebook page for “Church of Christ at Mammoth Spring”. 




  1. Charlie & Charlotte Hurtt
    May 24, 2022 @ 12:52 pm

    Freda was such a joy to be around and we will always remember her ever-present smile and her love of a good game of “Pitch”. Our sympathy to all the family and friends…she will be missed.


  2. Debbie C. Rose
    May 26, 2022 @ 12:07 am

    Freda, was a wonderful Christian Lady. She was always friendly and such a joy to be around. Love and Prayers to the Family now and in the days ahead.


  3. Leta Montgomery Smoot
    May 26, 2022 @ 8:37 am

    Loved this special christian lady. Retha and I had so many good times at JC and her home when we were growing up. She was such a good example for us. She always had a beautiful smile and was so nice to everyone. My prayers are with your family.


  4. Virginia Howell
    May 27, 2022 @ 5:50 pm

    Loved Freda! She was so very loved by all our family. Lots of wonderful memories to hold on to. May your memories bring you comfort in the hard days ahead. Love you all. Virginia (Hurtt) Howell


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