Waterford - Justin David Eldridge, 31, of Great Neck Road, passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, at his residence.
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He was born July 23, 1982, in New London, the son of Daniel Eldridge and grandson of Arlene and the late Emmett Eldridge.
Justin grew up in Old Lyme and graduated from Grasso Tech in 2000. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2001. He did a tour of duty in Afghanistan from 2004 until 2005. He was honorably discharged and medically retired in 2008.
He married Joanna Gallup on March 25, 2006 at the Montville Baptist Church and lived in Quaker Hill for three years and for the past four years resided in Waterford. Justin celebrated the birth of his first child Ashten in June 2003. During his marriage, he adopted his son, Vincent, in Oct. 2008, his daughter, Faith, in Jan. 2007, son, Nikolai, in Sept. 2008 and his youngest daughter, Diana, in Aug. 2010.
During his retirement, he volunteered and helped run Toys for Tots in southeastern CT. He was involved in starting the local chapter of the Marine Corps League, Thames River detachment and served as commandant for two years. He spent countless hours helping his community of fellow Marines. He was honored as Marine of the year by his detachment in 2010. He was a member of the RAFA, American Legion and VFW.
He is survived by his wife, Joanna; his five children, Ashten Dorn of Virginia, Vincent, Faith, Nikolai and Diana Eldridge, all at home; his father, Daniel Eldridge Sr. of Waterford; his grandmother, Arlene Eldridge of Waterford; and his brother, Daniel Eldridge Jr. of Waterford. His aunt, Karen Barnes; and his cousins, Alex and Falon Barnes; his mother and father-in-law, Matt and Diana McNichol; and sister-in-law and her husband, Meghan and Trent Gerbers; and a brother-in-law, Matthew McNichol; and many more family and friends.
He was predeceased by his grandfather, Emmett Eldridge.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 63 Old Norwich Road, Quaker Hill. Interment will follow with full military honors in St. Mary Cemetery, New London. The family will receive relatives and friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, at the Thomas L. Neilan & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home, 48 Grand St., Niantic.
Donations in his memory may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517 Topeka, KA 6675 or to Toys for Tots, 18251 Quantico Gateway Drive, Triangle, VA 22172.
Thomas L. Neilan & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home
48 Grand St
Niantic, CT 06357
Published in The Day on Nov. 2, 2013