Eldridge, Arthur Otis
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Arthur Otis Eldridge, SMSGT (Retired), 94, Green Bay, died Saturday, May 11. 2013, surrounded by his loving family. Art was born December 27, 1918, in Traer, IA to Edgar and Loraine (Casey) Eldridge. Art spent most of his youth on the family ranch in Alta Vista, KS. He graduated from Alta Vista High School.
Arthur proudly served his country, joining the Army Air Corps in 1940. During WWII, Art hopped from island to island in the South Pacific, serving with the 11th Bomb Group. He served as a B-17 and B-24 mechanic and crew chief, engine and flight control systems instructor, inspector with Air Training Command, and was the commander of a field training unit. After WWII he was assigned to downed aircraft recovery in Europe. When Art returned to the U.S. from Europe he met Lucille Weidman and on June 19, 1950, they were married at Bakerville, WI. Art and Lucille spent the next 12 years moving from base to base. Art eventually went from the Army Air Corps to the U.S. Air Force and retired after nearly 22 years of active duty in 1962.
After his military service, Art worked for the H. C. Prange Company, and started his second career at the warehouse and made many friends. He spent 17 years delivering furniture throughout Wisconsin and the U.P. Art was a jack of all trades and enjoyed helping those in need. He was proud of having built the Michalske, Adams, and his own cottage on Lake Lucerne, in Forest County. He also helped numerous people in and around Green Bay with their building projects. Art was also a gifted woodworker, enjoyed NASCAR, was a Packer Fan (he attended games into his 90's), and looked forward to his Monday morning coffee group at the Bay Motel and Restaurant. In his younger years Art enjoyed racing flat-head Harleys. He spent many hours fishing off of the dock at the cottage and spent many wonderful days on the trout streams, hunting deer and small game. He looked forward to his trips "home" to Kansas to mend fences and to catch up with friends and relatives.
Art was a member of the American Legion, the 11th Bomb Group Association (Past President), VFW, National Association of Uniformed Services, Air Force Association, Brown County Historical Society and the AMVETS. He was particularly honored to be a member and historian for the Sullivan-Wallen Post No. 11 of the American Legion. He was a long time member of St. Agnes Parish.
Art is survived by his children, Jo Ann (Brian) Holloway, David Eldridge (friend, Lynn Olcott), Paul Eldridge (Mary Kay); five grandchildren, Chelsea VanLannen (friend, Adam), Ben Eldridge, Jennifer Eldridge (friend, Peter), Jessica Eldridge (fiancé Tony), and Mitchell Eldridge; two great- grandchildren; a brother, George Eldridge, Nampa, ID; sisters-in-law, Dee Eldridge, Council Grove, KS; and Mildred Weidman, Marshfield, WI. He is further survived by many beloved nephews, nieces, friends, neighbors and fellow veterans.
He was preceded in death by his wife; two brothers, Warren Eldridge and Robert Eldridge; and one sister, Helen Galloway.
Friends and family may call at Blaney Funeral Home, 1521 Shawano, Ave., Green Bay, WI, from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. An American Legion Service will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, with a Parish Wake Service to follow. Friends may also call from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday at St Agnes Catholic Church, 1484 Ninth St. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at the church, with Rev. Ralph Merkatoris officiating, followed by full Military Honors. Entombment will be in Allouez Chapel Mausoleum. To send online condolences, please go to www.BlaneyFuneralHome.com.
The family would like to thank Unity Hospice for the comfort they provided Art and his family.
Blaney Funeral Home
1521 Shawano Ave.
Green Bay, WI 54303
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from May 13 to May 16, 2013