Memorial Gift to Purple Paws From...

Eric E. Caldwell

Eric E. Caldwell, age 52, of Manhattan, died November 14, 2023.

He was born March 30, 1971, in Leoti, Kansas, the son of Larry E. Caldwell and E. Louise Lomax.

Eric graduated from Hutchinson High School in 1989. He began his culinary career at Prairie Dunes Country Club and then moved to Manhattan, where he became an integral part of the food and beverage operations initially at Manhattan Country Club, and then for 12 years at Harry’s and Harry’s Catering. Most recently, he was co-owner and manager of Varsity Donuts, where he served as a mentor to his young team members, not only teaching them how to manage a well-run kitchen, but also imparting valuable life skills. He cared for his staff deeply, His job was his life.

Eric was a musician, artist, and incredible chef. He was humble but extremely accomplished. He will be missed greatly by the Manhattan restaurant community, his friends, and the many people whose lives he influenced.

Eric had a variety of interests and passions, including upholstery, History, his vintage watch collection and listening to Elvis and Johnny Cash.

Survivors include his mother Louise McIntire (Jim) of Buhler, KS; his father Larry Caldwell (AvNell Mayfield) of Shelton, WA; two brothers: Adrian Caldwell (Amanda) of Hutchinson, KS, and William Caldwell (Melissa Mallon) of Nashville, TN; three step siblings: Amy Danenberg (Brian) of Manhattan, Laura Goss (Jared Casanova) of Hutchinson, and Ian McIntire (Brittani) of Hutchinson; his half-brother Matthew Caldwell of Hutchinson; eight nieces and nephews: Coyote and Phoenix Caldwell, Melaina and Ryan Goss, Miles Danenberg, Brailey, Kinsley and Madilyn McIntire; and the many students that worked with him over the years that he considered his “kids.”

A Celebration of Eric’s Life will be held at 1:30 P.M. Saturday, December 2nd, at the University Christian Church Auditorium, 2800 Claflin Road, Manhattan, with Andrew Jansen officiating.

Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at

Memorial contributions may be made to either Purple Power Animal Welfare Society or Manhattan Common Table, which provides free weekly community meals. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502.

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