Theodore J. Caldwell, 87, of King of Prussia, a 44-year Bell Telephone employee, died Wednesday at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania of complications from an accident at home.

Mr. Caldwell grew up in Strawberry Mansion and graduated from Northeast High School. He went to work as a phone company messenger at 19. Later he was a repairman and then an installer, before joining management. He and his wife, Gladys Wright Caldwell, met when they were both working for Bell.

For 15 years, until retiring in 1981, he was in labor relations at Bell, and was involved in arbitrations and negotiations.

During World War II, Mr. Caldwell served in the Army Signal Corps as an officer in Panama, the Galapagos Islands, and in France and Germany. He was called back to active duty during the Korean War and served in Korea.

He appreciated that he had survived both wars and two serious illnesses, said his son, Theodore Jr. In 1976, he had surgery for lung cancer, and in 1995 he had surgery for a ruptured aorta.

Mr. Caldwell enjoyed history, politics, gardening, home repairs, photography, model railroading, model ship building, and the company of his Doberman pinscher.

In addition to his wife of 53 years and son, he is survived by a daughter, Leslie, and a sister.

The funeral and burial are private.