Calvin Eugene Faulkner, known by friends and family as “Sonny”, passed away at the age of 87 in Midlothian, Texas on November 1st, 2020.
Sonny was born on March 29th, 1933 in Pritchard, Oklahoma to Robert Lee and Annie Beatrice Faulkner, but thankfully moved out of Oklahoma and into Texas to be grandfathered in as a Texan as soon as possible. Sonny grew up with a total of nine brothers and sisters, and often shared stories of his childhood education being intermittently interrupted throughout the school year to help pick cotton with his father. Even though this was difficult and laborious work, he often shared stories of hand picking cotton with people of all races, which only added to his humbleness, and laid the foundation for his frequent life reminder to us all that no one person is any better than the next.
Sonny was drafted by the military in 1955 and served 18 months in the United States Army while being stationed in England. He described his trip to London via ship, as “On the way TO England, I thought I was going to die…on the way BACK, I was so seasick, I wished I WOULD die.” While in England, his daily duties included driving a Jeep for the Army. He was the most requested Corporal to shuttle higher ranking officials around England because he drove with a “heavy foot” and “never drove the speed limit”. When asked if he would be re-enlisting in the Army, he would typically reply with “No, I still have splinters in my back from being dragged off the front porch from the first time.”
Sonny met what would become his wife of 60 years, Judy Kay Paddy, at a roller skating rink in Cleburne Texas in 1959. Judy and Sonny married on January 20th, 1960 in Cleburne, Texas. 11 months later, the couple welcomed their first child, Kay, followed every two years with a new addition to their family, when Curtis, Timothy, and Kristie were born. Eight years later, their youngest daughter Sandra was born.
Sonny made a career in the aircraft industry as a machinist at General Dynamics and retired in 1989 due to his gradually diminishing eyesight from a Glaucoma diagnosis. He stayed active in his daily life, despite his diagnosis, and was declared “legally blind” shortly after his retirement.
As a hobby, Sonny began making canes, and was known locally by many from his craft of cane making. Most people had never seen canes as unique as his creations and were always impressed since the maker of the canes was legally blind. Sonny was proud knowing that a few of his canes were purchased and made it overseas, making his cane making hobby an “international business”.
Sonny remained active daily, both physically and mentally. He rode his three wheeled bike around the neighborhood and took walks with the family Yorkie, Lady Bird Johnson. He continued to create new canes and build new items around the garage to make things more accessible and organized. Sonny was also notorious for eating an outlandish amount of Tootsie Roll Pops daily, and once finished a 100 pack of Tootsie Roll Pops in less than one week.
Sonny was the master of witty sayings, responses, and life advice, including one that we can all take a life lesson from – “If you can’t do anything to change the outcome of a situation, you can’t spend your time worrying about it.”
Sonny is survived by his wife, five children, two daughter-in-laws, three son-in-laws, nine grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, as well as his four surviving siblings and numerous nieces and nephews. Sonny’s daily presence is incredibly missed, and we know he’s watching over us all from above, guiding us daily in the right direction.
A gathering to celebrate Sonny’s life will be held at 2400 County Road 415 in Cleburne, Texas on November 14th, 2020 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM; all are welcome.