WELLSVILLE - Christopher Dale "Chief 2" Eldridge, 43, of 70 Cameron Street, passed away Sunday (Dec. 16, 2012) at the home of his friend Erik Potter in Scio after a 20-year, hard-fought battle with cancer. He was born June 4, 1969, in Hornell, N.Y., the son of Dale and Joyce (Perry) Eldridge. On Feb. 11, 1994, he was married to Renee D. (Slack) Walsh on the air at WJQZ-WLSV Radio by Mayor Sue Goetschius.
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Chris was well known for his career at WJQZ-WLSV Radio Stations as a DJ and news director. He was also a former dispatcher for the Allegany County 911 Center and was a communication specialist at the Wellsville Police Department. Chris loved his career in radio and working with his many friends at the Wellsville Police Department. His true love in addition to his family was emergency services. In 1981, at the age of 12, Chris became a junior member of the Allegany County Office of Emergency Services Rescue Squad. For over 30 years, Chris has been affiliated with the Wellsville Ambulance, Rescue, Fire Department, Allegany County 911 Center and the Wellsville Police Department as the emergency manager for the town and village of Wellsville.
Over the years, Chris has received a number of honors and awards, including the New York State EMS Communications Specialist of the Year, the Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award, the Allegany County Volunteer Fireman's Association Fireman of the Year, not once but twice, the Wellsville Elks Lodge Citizen of the Year and the Wellsville Volunteer Ambulance Corps Chester Weaver Memorial Member of the Year Award. On Oct. 6, 2012, it was proclaimed Chris Eldridge day in Wellsville and Allegany County.
Surviving in addition to his wife and parents is his cocker spaniel, "Rece," his little girl and faithful companion. He is also survived by his niece, Katie Joe (Shawn) Mills and their children, Blake and Macie Joe, and a nephew, Danny Coleman, all of Wellsville; four brothers-in-law, Dan Coleman of Wellsville, Rick (Jackie) Slack of Warrenville, S.C., Ron Slack and Randy (Kristina) Slack of Belfast; and several aunts, uncles and cousins. He was predeceased by his sister, Kimberly Coleman; sister-in-law, Resa Slack; his aunt, Donna Geffers; his mother and father-in-law, Robert and Susan Slack; and his grandparents.
Chris enjoyed NASCAR and was a Dale Earnhardt, Jr. fan as well as a big Buffalo Sabres fan. Chris was proud to be a member of the Wellsville Volunteer Ambulance Corps for 30 years and a rescue chief for the past 18 years.
Friends are invited to call on Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the J. W. Embser Sons Funeral Home Inc. in Wellsville. The funeral will be Thursday (Dec. 20, 2012) at 11 a.m. in the First Congregational Church, 289 N. Main Street in Wellsville, with the Rev. Ralph Eastlack presiding. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be made to the Rescue Division of the Wellsville Volunteer Ambulance Corps, P.O. Box 206 Wellsville, NY 14895. To leave online condolences, please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Olean Times Herald on Dec. 18, 2012