Winchester Press – obit – John “Jack” Edward Eldridge
John “Jack” Edward Eldridge
A well known, long time resident of Wiliamsburgand former business owner, Jack Eldridge passed away at the WinchesterDistrict Memorial Hospital on March 7, 2006, surrounded by hisfamily.
Jack was born April 21, 1925 in Elma and lived in the area allhis life. When he became old enough to work he would help at anykind of a job that he could get such as; picking apples, helpingfarmers, and fixing cars.
In 1945 he got a job at the Tack Factory in Morrisburg and workedthere until 1947. He got a job with Sanford G. Wells & SonsFord Dealership in Aultsville. He worked at mechanical work, alongwith changing oil and serving gas, until he felt he knew enoughto write his mechanics licence. He passed on the first try. Hecontinued to work at the Ford Dealership until April 1951, andat the age of 26 he and another mechanic, Clare Hollister, decidedto rent a garage in Williamsburg that was owned by Supertest.They became partners and called the business Eldridge & Hollister.The business soon boomed and they were working in shifts, stayingopen 24 hours serving gas, fixing tires, repairing trucks andcars as this was during the beginning of the St. Lawrence Seaway.Their partnership tragically ended in 1956 when Clare Hollisterwas killed in an area of road construction on Highway 31. Jackthen had to purchase his partner’s share of the business and itbecame known as Eldridge & Son. Being the handy person thathe was, he decided to write exams for auto body repair and paint.Again he passed the exam. He then decided to hire local youngpeople to pump gas and other odd jobs to allow him more time forgeneral repair work.
During this time he acquired a few cars, fixed them up, and putthem up for sale. He enjoyed very much dealing in cars, and alsowith customers whose cars had broke down, so he invested in atow truck. In the 1970’s, business started to change so he enlargedhis car lot and concentrated on selling more cars rather thandoing body work and painting as he was working by himself. Hechanged the business name to Eldridge Motor Sales. In 1981, LindaSmith rented the garage from Jack and started her own car lotunder the name LMS Motor Sales keeping Jack on as a mechanic.In 1989, Bill Smith purchased the garage which still remains asLMS Motor Sales. Jack continued working and running errands forBill until he became ill in November 2005.
In his younger years he was very much involved in his own businessbut also accepted the position of fire chief with the WilliamsburgFire Dept.
He also got involved in stock car racing and he competed at localrace tracks. He also rebuilt a 1930 Model “A” 1/4 tontruck, using it as a show truck at car shows, winning trophiesfor best in class. He travelled as far as Quebec City and Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania and many surrounding cities.
Jack married Edna Belanger on April 17, 1965. Throughout his life,he was a very active and fun loving person. He did love to gettogether as a family and enjoyed acting as a clown. He sure enjoyeddancing. He was a real family man and took his family campinglocally and from the east coast to the west coast. Jack had muchdetermination; he would take on any job and work at it until thejob was complete.
Jack was the son of the late Lillian Hayes and was raised by ThomasSr. and Minnie Eldridge. He was the much loved husband of EdnaEldridge (nee Belanger) and dearest father of Allan (Barbara)of Ingleside and Louise (Steven) Backes of Williamsburg. He wasthe dear grandfather of Todd of Ingleside, Craig (Chantel) ofCornwall, and great-grandfather of Amber Lyn, Tyler, and Emily.He was the half brother of Jean Warwick of Gananoque, Matthew(Norma) Hayes of Prescott, Sheila (Sterling) Beckstead of Cardinal,Wade (Lenore) Hayes of Kingston, Patricia (Clarence) Pankhurstof Brockville, Ann (Ralph) Lein of Remley, Alberta, Michael (Terri)Hayes of Red Deer, Alberta, Elizabeth Halvorsen of Moose Jaw,Saskatchewan, Blanche (Ron) Stevens of Red Deer, Alberta, andMary Jane (Ron) Horton of Gananoque. He is also survived by manynieces and nephews. He was predeceased by half brothers Williamand Terrance Hayes and by his Eldridge brothers and sisters; ThomasJr., Samuel, Charles, Ivy McAran, Marjorie Griffith, and VioletLavictoire
The funeral service was conducted at Marsden and McLaughlin FuneralHome in Williamsburg on March 10 with Rev. Blair Paterson officiating.Interment followed at New Union Cemetery in Williamsburg.
The pallbearers were his nephews Raymond Eldridge, Bert Eldridge,Ron Eldridge, Lloyd Griffith, Gordon Griffith, and Carter Lavictoire.Honorary pallbearers were Bill Smith, Marc Baldwin, and grandsonsTodd Eldridge and Craig Eldridge.
Donations to New Union Cemetery or the Williamsburg I.O.O.F. Lodgewould be appreciated by the family.