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Obituary: David Caldwell Dietzel

David Caldwell Dietzel

David Caldwell Dietzel

David Caldwell Dietzel, 71, of Franklin, went to heaven suddenly on Jan. 2, 2022.  

As always, David helped people. In fact, he invented something that made the whole world better — The FedEx SuperTracker.

David was born on Feb. 26, 1950, in Lumberton, North Carolina, to Col. Joe Melvin Dietzel Sr. and Frances Caldwell Dietzel. 

He graduated from Lumberton High School, then received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from NC State. His successful career began early at United Parcel Service (UPS) in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In 1980, he was recruited by Federal Express, working as the senior manager of systems engineering and design. 

As part of his many achievements, David invented the SuperTracker (COSMOS) in 1986. It is the handheld barcode scanner that revolutionized the world’s professional delivery service industry, as documented in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and Time-Life book, “The Computerized Society.”

David retired from FedEx after 25 years of service, then he and his wife, Ann, moved from Memphis to Franklin in 2006.

He enjoyed their rescue pets, baking legendary carrot cakes, cooking, bass fishing, his Corvettes, antique cars, smooth jazz music, watching football and helping people in any way possible.

David’s family called him “Big D.” He was an active member of his neighborhood, Franklin community and beloved grandchildren’s lives. David’s kindness, thoughtfulness, generosity and unconditional love will be carried on forever by all who were blessed to know and love him.

He’s survived by wife, Ann W. Dietzel; daughter, Teri Dietzel Anderson; son-in-law, Stewart “McGowan” Anderson; grandchildren Ashlyn Joy and Fisher Stewart Anderson; and brothers Joe M. Dietzel Jr., Michael W. Dietzel and the late Sam J. Dietzel and their families.

In lieu of flowers or food, please make a memorial to BrightStone, which provides a comprehensive work, social support and residential community for adults with special needs. Online donations can be made at, or mail donations by check payable to BrightStone to PO Box 682966, Franklin, TN, 37068. Contact Randy Elliott for more information at 615-790-4888 or  

David was a member of Franklin First United Methodist Church. A private family inurnment will be held at Franklin First United Methodist Church Memorial Garden on Jan. 21, 2022, pastored by Dr. Vona Wilson.

Williamson Memorial Funeral Home, 615 794-2289,