Donald Paul "Don" Eldridge, 76, a lifelong Battle Creek resident died, fighting to the end, on October 26, 2021, at Glenn Arbor Hospice Residence.
Don was born June 12, 1945 in Battle Creek the son of Dewey Esto and Carrie Estelle (Pettit) Eldridge. He was a 1964 graduate of Battle Creek Central High School and attended Kellogg Community College for two years. Don honorably served his country in the U.S. Navy Reserves. He was not called to active duty, but retained a strong patriotic pride of his country. Most of his life was in the grocery industry, learning from the bottom and becoming a store manager. He was also a route manager for Jay's Potato Chips.
Don dated the love of his life three years and then was united in marriage to JoAnn Elizabeth Sperti. Surviving are JoAnn, his wife of 54 years; children, Todd (Glory) Eldridge of Battle Creek, Jonathan (Danielle) Eldridge of South Lyon, Mark (Erin) Eldridge of Battle Creek; eight grandchildren, Andy (Jessica) Eldridge, Josh Eldridge, Evan (Logan) Eldridge, Ethan Eldridge, Emily Eldridge, Lauren Eldridge, Tristan Eldridge, Logan Eldridge; three great-grandchildren, Mya, Clare, Blake; a daughter-in-law, Melissa Eldridge Newman; a sister-in-law, Sally Eldridge; a nephew, James (Kelly) Eldridge, and a cousin, Lilburn Pettit. Don was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Rob Eldridge and a brother, James Eldridge.
Don was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church. He was a very active member of the Dad's Club and coached Little League Baseball. He always had a smile for everyone, loved his sweets; and camping, especially at Mears State Park in Pentwater. He was an avid golfer, loved Neil Diamond and Eagles music, traveling, taking cruises with JoAnn and making smart remarks just to get a reaction. More than anything, Don loved spending time with his family. He enjoyed being at home; and JoAnn loved having the Love of Her Life with her.
The family will receive friends 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Battle Creek. Funeral services to celebrate Don's Life will be held 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, November 3, 2021 at the funeral home officiated by Fr. Max Nightingale. The service will be livestreamed and may be viewed at https://vimeo.com/641909560 or you may also view it on the Farley Estes & Dowdle Funeral Home Facebook page.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of SW Michigan, https://centricacare.org/ or Lewy Body Dementia, https://www.lbda.org/. Personal messages for the family may be placed above at "Sign Memory Book".