Franklin Eugene “Gene” Eldridge Sr., 79, of Statesville, N.C., died Tuesday, December 20, 2022, at Iredell Memorial Hospital. He was born in Vivian, W.Va., on February 7, 1943, to the late Jack Eldridge and Lena Belcher Eldridge. He was also preceded in death by two brothers, Earl and Alvin Eldridge, and a sister, Mary Richardson.
Gene worked in the furniture industry for many years and was employed at Gilliam Furniture for more than 24 years before owning and operating his business, Eldridge Custom Upholstery. He enjoyed all types of music, especially Merle Haggard and bluegrass. Other interests included NASCAR, especially Dale Earnhardt, and drag racing. More than anything, Gene loved spending time with his family, and his best friend and lap companion, Dora.
Those left to cherish his memory include his wife of 61 years, Effie Eldridge; three children, Frankie Eldridge (Brenda) of Easley, S.C., Melissa “Cissy” Eldridge of Statesville, and Nita Eldridge (Lee) of Laurel Hill, N.C.; eight grandchildren, Bryan Eldridge (Beth) of Easley, S.C., Amanda Emory (Justin) of Easley, S.C., Eric Cook of Stony Point, Travis Cook of Statesville, Nikki Moose (Andrew) of Stony Point, Chad Eldridge of Statesville, Rod Mayfield of Statesville, and Greg Eldridge (Kerri) of Statesville; 19 great-grandchildren; and a sister, Ruth Profitt.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held Wednesday, December 28, 2022, at 3 p.m. at Nicholson Funeral Home Chapel. The family will visit with friends following the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Condolences may be left at www.nicholsonfunerals.com.
Nicholson Funeral Home is honored to serve the Eldridge family.