William Gene “Bill” Eldridge passed away peacefully at home with his family on Thursday, November 1, 2018.
Bill was born on May 23, 1926. He was a graduate of Soddy Daisy High School, The University of Chattanooga, and George Peabody College. He also attended American University in Biarritz, France while serving in WWII.
He is preceded in death by his parents, James Davis Eldridge and Willie Mae Coppinger Eldridge; brothers, J.D. Eldridge, Jr. and Roy E. Eldridge.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Billie Carol McEwen Eldridge, sons William David Eldridge (Abby) and James Michael Eldridge (Sherry); five grandchildren, Melissa Stiefel (Malcolm), James Michael Eldridge, Jr. (Jessica), William Davis Eldridge (Kylea), William Andrew Eldridge (Katie), Kaitlyn Eldridge Rogers (Caleb); two great-grandsons, William McEwen Eldridge and Elijah James Eldridge.
Mr. Eldridge was a proud veteran of the United States Army and a deeply devoted educator.
Bill entered World War II at the age of 18. He spent five months in combat, including the Battle of the Bulge, with the 79th Division Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop (Mechanized). He earned WWII Combat Battle Stars for the Rhineland and Central Europe Campaigns. He also was part of the security force over Nuremberg prisoners of war.
Bill was a Hamilton County administrator for 43 years, retiring in 1993. Following his retirement, he served on the Hamilton County School Board for 8 years. He was the first principal in surrounding counties to reach Level 3 of the state's Career Ladder Program.
He was a member of Sale Creek Presbyterian Church and served as a deacon. He later attended Soddy United Methodist Church.
Bill Eldridge is recognized on the Wall of Fame at Veterans Park by the city of Soddy Daisy for his World War II service and was inducted into the Soddy Daisy High School Hall of Fame in 2013.
The family will be receiving friends on Saturday, November 3 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Funeral services will be held on Sunday, November 4 at 2:00 PM at Williamson and Sons Funeral Home in Soddy Daisy.
Condolences and memories can be shared at www.williamsonandsons.com.
Arrangements are by Williamson and Sons Funeral Home, 8852 Dayton Pike, Soddy-Daisy, TN 37379.