Cover photo for David E. Eldridge's Obituary
David E. Eldridge Profile Photo
1927 David 2022

David E. Eldridge

November 3, 1927 — July 6, 2022

David E. "Dizz" Eldridge

Born November 3, 1927, in Kalamazoo, MI, son of Vernon and Glenora (Garlick) Eldridge. Dizz lived his entire life in this area, graduating from Augusta High School in 1945 and serving in the US Navy from 1945 to 1946 as a Fireman Third Class aboard the U.S.S. Warrick. He served his apprenticeship as a Machinist at the Grand Trunk Shop in Battle Creek. He worked as an Auto Mechanic at Andrews Garage in Augusta and later owned and operated it as Dave's Auto Repair until 1974. Dave was then employed at Checker Motors as a Lift Truck Mechanic and Inspector until retiring in 1992.

David married Mary Jane Kellay on May 21, 1947, in Augusta. She predeceased him on October 15, 1996. David played baseball for the Augusta Merchants in league play in Battle Creek. An avid bowler, he was awarded the prestigious "7-10 Split" patch by the American Bowling Congress. He drove stock cars at many local tracks (#23) and enjoyed NASCAR. Another passion was building dune buggies and running them at Silver Lake with his family.

He was a life member of the Michigan Sport Buggy Association, serving as President in 1972. Working with the Michigan DNR, he was a leading proponent in legalizing the operation of dune buggies in the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. He lived to deer hunt, never missing an opening day from 1949 to 2007, and bagging an eight-point trophy buck in 2002. He was a life member of the VFW Augusta Custer Post 7956. Known as "the Poppy Man," he consistently collected the most contributions every year. In 2019 Dave was sponsored by the VFW to take a Talons Out Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., to see the monuments erected to our military. He was accompanied by Marc Worst, a dear family friend who died earlier this year.

As a member of the Checker Car Club of America he proudly owned and displayed his 1972 Gold Checker Marathon station wagon. He was an active member of the Host Committee presenting the national Checker Show at Gilmore Car Museum every two years. Dave was instrumental in starting the Augusta Police Force in 1957 and served as a volunteer officer for two years. He joined the Ross-Augusta Fire Department in 1949, serving as Chief from 1955-1960 and retired in 2000 after 51 years of service. He was honored to be recognized as one of four inspirational graduates by Galesburg-Augusta Schools. These are grads who have given back to the G-A community with their time and talents.

He enjoyed collecting coins, stamps, antiques and old bottles, many of which he and his son Dave uncovered in old refuse sites. For many years, he and Jane enjoyed creating stained glass projects. Dave also enjoyed building and working with wood. He loved watching birds and animals, the wild turkeys and deer that frequented the feeders in the backyard. He enjoyed traveling to California, (Sacramento and Lake Tahoe) to visit his family, and during the cross-country drives he visited many places in the USA and Canada.

He married Ellen (Mackie) Kellay on November 8, 1997, in Battle Creek, MI, who survives. He is also survived by his daughters Barbara (George) Henry of Citrus Heights, CA, and Kathy (Rick) Towne of Parchment, MI, and his son David F. (Sue) Eldridge of South Lake Tahoe, CA. Dave is also survived by grandchildren Lauri Adkins, Karen and Victoria Henry, and Jill (Dan) Lahav, all of California, and Todd Adkins of Portage, MI; one great-granddaughter, Rachel Domaradski in California; a stepdaughter, Joy (Marv) Cook of Delton, MI, and was predeceased by another stepdaughter, Suzanne DeCuypere of Vicksburg, MI; also surviving are five step-grandchildren: Erin (Brad) Lennon of Kalamazoo, MI; Marvin D. Cook of Delton, MI; Tess and Tucker DeCuypere and Shae (Michael) Vandenbosch of Vicksburg, MI; three step-great-grandchildren: Chase, Cash and Willow Vandenbosch; two step-great-grandchildren Emma (Kurt) Burger and Wyatt (Clari) Sample, and three step-great-great grandchildren. Also surviving are Dave's brother Larry Eldridge of Farmington Hills, MI, and his sister Sharon Bowers, Galesburg, MI, a brother-in-law Tim Snape, a stepson-in-law Wes DeCuypere, and many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents, sisters Jeannine, Joyce (Snyder) Minnes, Marianne (Joe) Smith, Nancy (Don) Rutherford, and Marge (Tim) Snape, and his brother Glenn "Buck" Eldridge; also brothers-in-law Jim Snyder, Charles Minnes, Joe Smith, Don Rutherford and Ted Bowers, and two sisters-in-law, Tari Eldridge and Barbara Harper Eldridge.

A memorial service to celebrate Dave's life will be 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 13, 2022 at the Augusta Fellowship United Methodist Church. Interment with full military honors will follow at 3:00 p.m. at Fort Custer National Cemetery. A celebration of Dave's life will continue at the Augusta VFW Post #7956 following the interment. Memorial donations may be made to the Talons Out Honor Flight or the Augusta VFW Post #7956. Arrangements by the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Augusta Chapel. Personal messages for the family may be placed at

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Starts at 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

Augusta Fellowship United Methodist Church

103 N Webster St, Augusta, MI 49012

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Graveside Service

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Fort Custer National Cemetery

15501 W Dickman Rd, Augusta, MI 49012

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Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Starts at 3:30 pm (Eastern time)

Augusta V.F.W. Post # 7956

13540 M-96, Augusta, MI 49012

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