A community is mourning the loss of a well-known Montgomery County teacher.
Keith Caudill, 32, died when he crashed his motorcycle at about 6:19 p.m. Monday on Ted Crozier Boulevard in Clarksville.
Investigators said Caudill was driving his 2007 Harley Davidson and drifted into the median, resulting in him losing control of the motorcycle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Caudill was a Clarksville native, graduated from Austin Peay State University, and taught history at Montgomery Central High School.
He leaves behind a wife and two young children.
"He was able to reach out and touch many people in a good, positive way," said Caudill's father, Stephen Caudill.
Caudill's parents have found a page their son wrote in his journal in May reading, "My children are my world, and it reminds me to kiss them and hug them every moment I have. As you get older, you always wonder how much time you really have."
"His family and children, they were the most important thing in his life," said Stephen Caudill. "Teachers are often underrated and under appreciated. That didn't matter so much to him, as he could reach out and touch the kids in the classroom, and they could take away with it what they needed to take."
"I feel he just had a genuine love for history," added Caudill's mother, Bobbie Caudill. "He wanted to share that with the students, and he just loved the interaction with the kids."
Caudill's parents said they now treasure the journal page they found. It closes with this message to his children; "I want Austin and Emma to smile every time they think about me. I want them to know I love them with the deepest part of my heart. I love them all with everything I am."
"Touch a life and make a difference," said Bobbie Caudill. "That is what it's all about."
"Mr. Caudill was an excellent teacher. He made history interesting to his students by engaging them, teaching the history as a story rather than a list of facts, and he tied the past to current events," said Dee Etta Whitlock, the principal at Montgomery Central Middle School. "For the last several years, he arranged for a field trip on our campus by having a local Civil War reenactors group to set up camp and demonstrate what life was like during that time period. His love of history and teaching was contagious and uplifting. Mr. Caudill will be missed."
Neal-Tarpley-Parchman Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Even in death, Caudill is still helping children. Instead of flowers, his family is asking donations to be made in the name of Keith Caudill to Autism Speaks.
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