CHATHAM - Howard Earl Eldridge, 94, of Chatham, formerly of Buffalo, died July 3, 2013, at St. John's Hospital. He was born on July 3, 1919, in Lowder, to the late Earl and Ruth Agnes Nicholson Eldridge. He married Nellie Grace Neff in 1949, and she preceded him in death in 1970. He was also preceded in death by his companion of 30 years, Mary Mellinger, in 2001; an infant son, Jack; son, Don; brother, Ervin and sister, Iva Bucy.
Howard served his country during WWII in the Army in the Pacific Theater. He was a life member of the American Legion. He farmed all his life in central Illinois, including Chatham, Loami, and Buffalo areas before retiring in 1981.
He is survived by his daughters: Janet (husband, Dale) Edwards of Buffalo, Ruthie (husband, Larry) Woods of Kincaid, and Barb Eldridge of Chatham; grandchildren, Lynn (Matthew) Buckles, Matthew Dale Edwards (companion, Jody Burge), and Jason (Carissa) Pfeiffer, all of Mechanicsburg; five great-grandchildren; brother, Don of Waverly; nieces and nephews and his special caregiver, Lisa Kane of Chatham.
Visitation: His family will greet friends from 10 a.m.-noon on Tuesday, July 9, at Staab Polk Memorial Home, 8855 State Route 4, Chatham.
Funeral Ceremony at noon, Tuesday, July 9, at Staab Polk Memorial Home, Chatham, with Paula Staab Polk as Funeral Celebrant. Burial will follow at Camp Butler National Cemetery with the Interveterans' Burial Detail of Sangamon County conducting military honors.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675 or www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
For online condolences, please visit www.staabpolk.com.