James Roland Caywood was born in Malden, MA, the firstborn child of Roland “Wade” and Marietta Burtch Caywood. Growing up in Reading, MA, with three younger sisters, Donna, Jane, and Julie, he majored in sports, earning nine athletic letters during his career at Reading High School. An outstanding athlete, student, and leader, Jim was personally recruited by Earl “Red” Blaik, the Army Football Coach, and Eric Tipton, the Army Baseball Coach, and in 1959 secured an appointment to West Point. On 7 Jul 1959, Jim Caywood was one of 837 new cadets who reported to the “man in the red sash” in the east sally port, Central Barracks, West Point, NY, and was sworn into the U.S. Corps of Cadets, Class of 1963.
Jim’s determination to succeed carried him through four rigorous years as a West Point cadet. He was an accomplished intercollegiate athlete on army teams in both football (as a running back) and baseball (as a pitcher and centerfielder). Spring was always his favorite time of year, when both the New York Yankees and the New York Mets came up to West Point to play exhibition games with the Army baseball team, and Jim got to test his pitching skills against baseball greats Mantle, Maris, Berra, Kubek and Ford during 1961–63 exhibition games.
On 5 Jun 1963, Jim was one of 504 classmates who threw his hat into the air after graduation from one of the most rigorous four year academic, physical, and leadership tests ever established. Three days after graduation, on 8 Jun 1963, he married his high school sweetheart, Anne Delong of Reading, MA, to whom he remained married until April 1994.
Jim received his commission in the field artillery and, after the Artillery Officer Basic Course at Ft. Sill, OK, and Airborne and Ranger Schools at Ft. Benning, GA, was assigned, as an artillery officer, to the 2nd Armored Cavalry in Germany. In 1967, Jim’s leadership training was again tested when he was sent to Viet Nam as a young captain and served in combat as a battery commander in a field artillery unit. Once again, Jim excelled with his leadership and determination and was decorated with both the Bronze Star and the Air Medal for service to his country. While serving in Viet Nam, he read a book, Battle for Investment Survival, was fascinated by the world of finance, and on a lark took the Merrill Lynch exam for new brokers. He was hired, out of 1,500 applicants, and in 1969, 18 months after applying, joined Merrill Lynch in Boston, MA, as a fixed income specialist. During this time in Boston, Jim and Anne welcomed their only child, Elizabeth “Beth” Ann, into their lives.
From Boston, Jim was transferred to Houston, TX, and from 1973–79 served as vice president and corporate bond, preferred stock specialist for Merrill Lynch.
Subsequently he became investment vice president for American General Capital Management and portfolio manager of high yield Investments. During this time, he earned his Certified Financial Analyst designation. In 1983 he was recruited to the Pacific Century Group, the asset management division of Security Pacific Bank in San Diego, CA.
In March, 1986, Jim formed his own investment advisory firm, Caywood-Christian Capital Management, in San Diego, CA, and took the helm as chief executive officer. In 1992, with a new partner, Eric Scholl of Lake Placid, NY, the company changed names to Caywood-Scholl Capital Management and is still going strong today with an eclectic group of accounts, including insurance companies, pension funds, mutual funds, structured products, charitable trusts, and foundations with Eric Scholl and Tom Saake now managing the company.
In 1997, Jim married Joanie McDonald, with whom he shared his passion for golf, travel, and family adventures over the next eleven years. Together they welcomed the addition of four grandchildren and rejoiced in the simple pleasures of being together. As Lyndol Cook, classmate and life-long friend, put it: “You could always tell when his grandchildren were coming or had been with him, by the twinkle in his eye and the tone of his voice. The pleasure his family brought him was immense.”
Jim stayed an involved part of his beloved company as “chairman emeritus” until his death in December of 2007. During the last two years of his life, as he battled cancer, he remained involved with his company, his friends, and, most of all, his family.
For such a complex and successful man, he had very simple tastes. He had no need for a lot of material “things” ...nor was the need to impress anyone very far up on his list. What he valued most in this world were his relationships...the friends he made along the way and his sense of family and close ties with those he loved.
Jim is survived by his loving wife Joanie; his daughter, Beth Scerni; son-in-law, Gregg Scerni; step-daughter, Melissa Lundblad, son-in-law, Bob Lundblad; and grandchildren Vinnie and Grace Scerni; Kaitlyn Lundblad and Jackson Lundlbad, who followed his “boompa” to heaven five weeks later. Also by his three younger sisters: Donna Sargent Caywood; Jane Caywood Oelkers; and Julie Caywood Chapin; and their families.
All who knew him, miss his strength, enthusiasm, integrity, humble spirit, and boundless capacity to love. The world was a better place when he was in it and now, that his work is done and his course on earth has run, may it be said, well done, Jim! Be thou at peace. We carry you in our hearts. It was an honor to know you and to love you.
——Joan Caywood, wife, and Lyndol Cook, classmate and friend