JOHN M. ALDRIDGE, JR. John left his earthly home and went to his heavenly home after a long illness on May 12, 2014 at New Hanover Regional Medical Center with his loving family by his side. John was born in Santa Fe, Tennessee on June 16, 1941 to Sammye Layne Aldridge and John M. Aldridge, Sr. He moved to Nashville when he was very young but continued to spend the summers with his grandparents in Santa Fe. John loved the country and loved to go wading in the creeks, fishing, frog gigging and hunting. He graduated from Central High School in 1959 and from Vanderbilt University in 1963 with a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering. He began his career in 1963 at Riegel Paper Corporation in Riegelwood as a young research engineer and retired from International Paper (formerly Federal Paper Board Company and Riegel Paper) as Production Manager at the Augusta, Georgia mill. His entire 37-year career was with the same company. John was predeceased by his parents, and his brother, Kyle Aldridge. He also was predeceased by brothers-in-law, Donoven Wells and E.C. Biggs, Jr. and sister-in-law Frances Biggs. John is survived by his wife Mildred (Millie) of 44 years. When they first met, John was a confirmed bachelor but it didn't take long for him to change his mind. They were married on January 3, 1970 and enjoyed many wonderful years together. John is also survived by sisters-in-law, Edna Wells and Doris Musselwhite, brother-in-law, Bob Musselwhite, many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and one great-great niece. John was an avid fisherman after coming to Wilmington and he spent many happy days on his boat, the "Sweet Thing", catching more fish than he could even give away. At the age of 40, he gave up fishing and took up golfing. He loved to golf and became quite good at it. He enjoyed playing golf with his golfing buddies, his nephews, and with Millie. They played together in many couples' tournaments and on many beautiful golf courses. As john became unable to play golf, he then became an avid reader, sometimes reading three books a week. John was a member of Wrightsville Beach Baptist Church and served in different capacities, but his favorite was meeting everyone at the door on Sunday mornings as a greeter. John was faithful to his church as long as he was physically able. John was a caring, humble, giving person that touched many lives in numerous ways. He will truly be missed by all who knew and loved him. A special thanks to Dr. Christian Lloyd and Dr. Barton Williams in the excellent care they gave John over the past years. A visitation service will be held on Thursday night, 6-8pm, at Coble Ward-Smith Funeral Home. Funeral service will be held on Friday at 1:00pm in the chapel of Coble Ward-Smith followed by interment at Greenlawn Memorial Park. Pallbearers will be John's nephews, Bobby Musselwhite, Mike Musselwhite, Randy Musselwhite, Jay Tanenbaum, Curtis Reese and Brad Cooper. Flowers are welcome but donations in John's memory can be made to Wrightsville Beach Baptist Church, P.O. Box 21, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480. The staff of Coble Ward-Smith is honored to serve the family of John M. Aldridge, Jr.
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Published in the Wilmington Star-News from May 14 to May 15, 2014