Nathaniel “Nate” Caleb made his world appearance on February 6, 1951, on a Dorchester S.C. farm, and six months later was headed north to Coatesville, Pennsylvania—in a car with two parents, eight older siblings, and a cousin-driver.
Charlie and Mattie built a house, almost with their own hands, put their children in it, and continued to create a family culture of love, in which Nate grew and grew. At Craig Ridgeway Elementary School, he began drum lessons in the fourth grade; and then onto William T. Gordon Junior High School, both in Coatesville.
By the time he entered Coatesville Area High School, he was singing whenever he could. By graduation, he was gigging, and usually getting paid. He continued his education at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, doubling as a hard-working musician. He was graduated from Temple in 1973, with a BA in history—and still gigging.
When he first saw the sweet, patient, wise, gentle, smart, and beautiful, Kimberly Ann Simmons, he did not miss even a sixteenth-note beat before getting her attention. They charmed each other, and were married on August 20, 1983. For thirty-eight years of marriage, they were as close as a kiss. And it is true: Kim planned the wedding at home because if it wasn’t a gig, Nate might be late to the venue.
In 1987, when two of the family’s nieces needed support, Nate took them in, fathering them as his own teenage daughters; Tabitha and Carmen blossomed wonderfully into young ladies.
As a singer and percussionist, Nate worked with a variety of bands in the Philadelphia area, honing his craft, his music repertoire, and his band management skills. From 1986 through 1992, he managed the r&b group, Blue Magic, through national and international tours. However, Nate’s sustained vision was of a band that would be more than a band. It would be a show, a visual feast of lights, sounds, and movement—an experience. Red Alert Band. For his band mates, Nate was manager, transporter, hand-holder, arranger, percussionist, and backup vocalist.
When Nate was not cozy with Kim, or on a gig, he was a social worker, for Chester County Health and Human Services, West Chester, PA., from which he retired. He worked also for Impact Services Associates Health Care, in Exton, PA. Earlier in his career, he processed claims for the PA Department of Employment Security, Coatesville, PA. He also taught, at the Downingtown Industrial and Agricultural School, and as a substitute teacher within the Coatesville Area School District. Nate worked very well with and for people. He brought them empathy and patience, a calm unflappable manner, and an astute, clinical mind. He was a people-problem solver. Even in the depth of his illness, he was offering logistical support to Kim and the flock gathered to support him.
Nate left us on August 25, 2021, centered within family and friends. And until other caring hands arrived to take his body, a joyous time and a lot of good-byes were had by all who could flock to him.
He is survived by his wife, Kimberly Caleb of Coatesville, PA; daughters, Carmen Sylvester (James) of Fayetteville, GA, Tabitha Lowery of Philadelphia, PA; brothers, Paul (Toni Manville) Caleb of Madison, Wisconsin, John Rufus (Carol Rosenbaum) Caleb of Philadelphia, PA, Benjamin (Randi Levine) Caleb of Waban, MA; sister, Luvenia Caleb Bush of Coatesville; grandchildren: Brandon Sylvester, James, Sylvester, Jr., Bree Sylvester, Alexander Davis, Isaiah Davis; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends.
In addition to his parents, Nate was predeceased by sisters: Patricia Ann Caleb, Evelyn Caleb McNeal, Camille D. Caleb; and brother, Hollis E. Caleb, Sr.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 A.M. Friday, September 3, 2021 at Hutchinson Memorial UAME Church in the R.L. Davis Fellowship Hall, 825 East Chestnut Street, Coatesville, PA. Please enter through the rear of the building adjacent to the parking lot. Viewing hours will be held from 9:00 AM –10:45 AM.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE RECORDED SERVICE.
Interment will be held privately.
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