He was born Feb. 3, 1931, in Portsmouth, a son of the late Samuel and Nancy Lewis Eldridge. He was an ordained minister, member of Temple of Faith, was retired from laborers local 83 and was a U.S. Army veteran serving in WWII.
He is survived by his wife, Beulah Vestal Eldridge; five sons, John W. Eldridge, James Eldridge, Pete Eldridge, Mark Eldridge and Mark Walter Eldridge; seven daughters, Sandy Gaines, Deborah Rawlins, Carol Dresel, Tracy Hay, Tina Osborne, Linda Reitz and Janet Eldridge; one sister, Plura Marie Lindsey; 67 grandchildren; and 55 great-grandchildren.
He was also preceded in death by an infant son, Lloyd Eldridge and several other family members.
Services will be 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 16, 2008, at D.W. Swick Funeral Home in New Boston, with the Rev. Tim Whitaker and the Rev. John Martin officiating. Burial will be at Batterson Cemetery with military graveside rites by James Dickey Post 23 American Legion. Visitation will be Tuesday 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. and Wednesday noon to 1 p.m. at D.W. Swick in New Boston.