John R. Eldridge

Services for John R. Eldridge, 94, of Killeen, will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Killeen.

Mr. Eldridge died Feb. 20, 2019, at the Veteran’s Medical Center in Temple.

He was born Feb. 29, 1924, to William Eldridge and Lillie Jacobs Eldridge in Wolfe City, where he was raised and educated.

He was married to Dorothy Ann Lacy until her death in 1985. He then married Jean Burbage on Sept. 7, 1992.

Mr. Eldridge lived in the Killeen area since 1946. He was one of 10 children, raised in Black Cat Thicket, south of Wolfe City. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1944 and served in the Pacific Theater in World War II. He then re-enlisted into the U.S. Army following his service in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in the Korean conflict and the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) until he was honorably discharged as a master sergeant and a Purple Heart recipient.

Mr. Eldridge was a member of Masonic Lodge #1125 in Killeen. He was a 32nd degree Mason and a Shriner, and a life member of the DAV and the VFW.

He owned and operated the NCO and Officers’ Club barber shops at Fort Hood for 30 years. He was an entrepreneur who found joy in owning and investing in many businesses.

Mr. Eldridge was a presence larger than life to his family. He had a strong sense of family and instilled in his children and grandchildren the importance of family unity and support for each other. His son and daughters would say that he was a man of few words, but they always knew he was their biggest protector even until the day he went to his heavenly home.

Mr. Eldridge was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Eldridge; his second wife, Jean Burbage Eldridge; three daughters, Johnnie Wood, Judy Fogle and Julie Ashe-Neidert; his son, Gerald (Butch) Eldridge; sons-in-law, Ken Ashe and Paul Westerfield; great-grandson, Mason Balch; his parents; seven brothers, Odell Eldridge, Ray Eldridge, Willie Eldridge, Jr., Cleburne Eldridge, James Eldridge, Charles Eldridge, Billy Eldridge; and two sisters, Irene Dunn and Susie Watson.

Survivors include three daughters, Jerry Wykes (Richard) of Killeen, Linda Gallaway (Terry) of Morgan’s Point, Betty Shupp (Terry) of Rockwall; daughter-in-law Kathy Eldridge; stepdaughter, Kathy Westerfield of Killeen; 22 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren; and 10 great-great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home.

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