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Home: In Loving Memory of Paul R. Caillet

In Loving Memory of Paul R. Caillet
January 21, 1935 - November 14, 1998

There’s rarely a day that passes that I don’t think about this wonderful man who had such a major beneficial influence on my life in my formative years. Paul Caillet was the scoutmaster of our Troop 43 in Houston, Texas, and was without question one of the kindest, most generous, and selfless human beings I’ve ever known.

Many of the things that I have to be thankful for today as a grown adult... for example, my appreciation for the great outdoors, the importance of giving and sharing, the ability to effectively relate to and interact with other people, leadership skills, etc... I owe to my old scoutmaster Paul.

And there’s no question that I would’ve never been able to attain my Eagle Scout award without all his heartfelt encouragement and guidance.

Paul was also very supportive when I was chosen as one of only 36 scouts from Houston to attend the 1967 Boy Scout World Jamboree in Farragut State Park, Idaho. Just 4 years later, Paul himself was afforded the chance to attend the 1971 Boy Scout World Jamboree in Fujinomiya, Japan, on the west side of Mt. Fuji.

I’ve been wanting to put this tribute page together for years and years, and today I finally got around to it. Even without knowing him, I hope that some of the memories I’ve posted on this page will help you somehow appreciate the wonderful impact this man had on so many young lives.

Pics


Carrollton High School 1951 yearbook
Paul Rene Caillet, Sophomore Year  
Carrollton High School yearbook, 1951
(photo credit: geni.com)


Carrollton High School - junior class VP
Paul Rene Caillet (R)  
Carrollton High School, junior class VP, 1952
(photo credit: geni.com)


Carrollton High School 1953 yearbook
Paul Rene Caillet, Senior Class
Carrollton High School 1953 yearbook
  Junior Class VP, Drum Major 4, FFA 4, Library Club 4, NHS
(photo credit: txccarro.genealogyvillage.com)


Paul R. Caillet gravestone
Paul Rene Caillet gravestone
Restland Memorial Park, Dallas, Texas
(photo credit: txccarro.genealogyvillage.com)

Paul's Careers


At the time Paul was our scoutmaster, he worked as a therapist at the Houston Speech & Hearing Center. As I recall, his specialty was fitting patients with the proper hearing aid.

Besides being the best scoutmaster a boy scout could ever ask for, Paul received many accolades for his countless contributions to scouting in Houston, including receiving the prestigious Vigil Honor award in 1970 from the Order of the Arrow Colonneh Lodge in the Boy Scout Sam Houston Area Council.

He then parlayed his talents for working with youth by becoming a teacher at Little Elm High School in Denton County, not far from Dallas, where he served as a drama coach and took his theater troupe teams to the Texas University Interscholastic League's annual State High School One-Act Play competition a number of times.

When he retired in 1998 after 19 years of teaching, he was given a HUGE celebration on May 20 which was proclaimed "Paul Caillet Day" in Little Elm when he was honored with speeches, awards, and many, many gifts.

Not long after he passed in November 1998, it was announced that a Paul Caillet Memorial Theater would be constructed at the Little Elm High School in Paul’s honor.

Of course I was honored to contribute, and below is an excerpt from the June 22, 1999 letter I sent along with my donation:



"I am very happy to be able to help out in this very small way toward the achievement of Paul’s goals and dreams.  He will be greatly missed, as I have spent perhaps hundreds of hours of my life with him. He was very dear to me.

It didn’t matter if it was teaching us young boys a constellation in the sky, how to identify the distinguishing features of some bird, how to give first-aid for a snakebite, or whatever, he always, always gave of himself so cheerfully, tirelessly, and unselfishly. He was a shining example of the Boy Scout Oath in action, always doing things to help other people. I’m not sure there will ever be anyone again quite like Paul. I am quite convinced now he was an angel sent from heaven.

Paul instilled in us boys a great love and appreciation for the out-of-doors. I first discovered the joy of hiking in the mountains during one of the summer trips Paul took us on to New Mexico. Thus, through the years mountain climbing has now become one of my favorite hobbies. And often when I gaze into the night sky or am watching a bird, I can't help but think of Paul."


Other Remembrances


After my old scoutmaster Paul passed, I learned a very tough life lesson, and that's that you need to keep in touch with those you love. I didn't even know Paul had been sick. As it turned out, he had inoperable cancer. Oh, how much I wish I could've talked him to just one more time! animated frownie

I was also literally flooded with countless thoughts and memories of him. So in order to capture those fleeting memories, on June 22, 1999, the same day I sent my donation for the Paul Caillet Memorial Theater, I decided to compile a sort of memory collage which I have posted below.

It will likely have little significance to anyone who wasn't affiliated with Boy Scout Troop 43, but I am hopeful that it will at least give readers some small appreciation of the many wondrous ways in which young lives were being touched by Paul.


Just a Few of My Many Great Memories of Paul
                                                
  • The Bat Patrol
  • Gulf Coast Christmas Day Bird Counts
  • Meeting Paul’s mom & dad at Cal Farley’s Boy’s Ranch in Vega
  • Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
  • Hamburger ala Foil
  • Capture the Flag
  • “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Bach
  • Stargazing
  • Sunday morning worship services on our campouts
  • Mr. Cowling’s bus, used on our summer trips (what an exciting blowout in NM!)
  • Backpacking together in Big Bend
  • Camp Strake Aquatic School
  • Summer camp at El Rancho Cima in Wimberley
  • Senior Patrol Leader meetings at Paul’s home in the 4500 block of Park Ct., enjoying pecan sandy cookies and hot tea
  • Order of the Arrow  
  • 1967 Boy Scout World Jamboree, Farragut State Park, Idaho
  • Swim meets
  • Camporees, especially the flint & steel competitions
  • Hiking the 60-mile C & O (Chesapeake & Ohio) Canal from Washington D.C. to Harper’s Ferry, WV in only 3 days
  • Pileated Woodpeckers
  • The Pleiades (Seven Sisters) constellation
  • Playing the card game “Pitch”
  • Houston Speech and Hearing Center
  • Learning rope lashing
  • Campfire songs (e.g. “Kookaburra Sits on an Old Gum Tree”)
  • Allen Elster’s guitar playing
  • Athletic meets at Lake Houston
  • Summer trip to the Sante Fe Natl. Forest near Cowles, NM (What a great beaver dam!)
Atop Sierra Grande in New Mexico
Atop Sierra Grande in New Mexico
Ted, David, Gary, Rocky, and Bo
Summer 1966
  • Summer trip to the Sangre de Cristo mountains in southern Colorado (a snowball fight in August!) laughing icon
  • Summer trip to Washington, D.C. (cars to Dallas, plane to Chicago, Amtrak train to D.C.  - included a visit and photo op with U.S. Rep. Bob Casey)
Rep. Robert R. Casey
With U.S. Rep. Robert R. Casey in Washington, D.C.
Summer 1968
  • Camping at Bastrop State Park
  • Compass/map orienteering practice in Memorial Park, Houston
  • Handing out pizza shop flyers and painting addresses on curbs to earn cash for our summer trips
  • Quartermaster boxes with all our cooking utensils
  • Baker’s tents
  • The Blue Hole swimming spot in East Texas
  • Dropping off and picking up Goodwill sacks of used clothing
  • Monthly Troop 43 meetings in Central Presbyterian Church’s fellowship hall
the former Central Presbyterian Church
the former Central Presbyterian Church
(photo credit: chron.com)
  • Can-opening races using the can openers on our Boy Scout knives
  • The Polar Bear Club (to join, we had to swim outdoors during every month of the year!)
  • Boy Scout Handbook
  • Merit badge award ceremonies
  • Our cute little campout trailer, specially made by Mr. Patrick, Bill's dad
  • Paul’s Texas license plates one year - “LYD 43” (he said it stood for "Lyndon’s young democrats of Troop 43") laughing icon
  • Trading souvenirs after Paul's visit to the 1971 Boy Scout World Jamboree in Japan
  • Practicing first-aid

Letters

  • Aug. 13, 1998 letter from Paul to Naomi & Rev. John Craig (just 3 months before Paul's passing), plus Oct. 23, 1998 letter from Rev. Craig to Paul's friends
  • Thank you note from Paul to Nora & Walter Wolff



***************
Note:

To any of Paul's family, friends, former coworkers, or boy scouts, by all means feel free to offer your comments or tributes in the commenting section below! And please contact me if you have any pics or other remembrances to add to this page! Thank you...








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