I'm a Mormon

Sunday, July 28, 2013

My Grandpa Eldredge

George Donald Eldredge Family
Back Row:  Susan, George Donald Jr., Tanya, Cheryl, Randy
Front Row:  Marc, George Donald, Elizabeth, Rebeca, Velma

I've never had to give some thoughts at a setting like this, and especially in this setting but I will try my best.
I don't think it would be fair to talk about my grandpa without first telling a story of a very wise prestigious ambassador for the United States touring some of the military bases around the world.  During one of the visits after very lengthy discussions with Generals, it was time for lunch.  This base was on rather short means when it came to food but they were able to to pull in the means to get butter for the rolls. One of the soldiers was in charge of giving one pat of butter to each person.  When he came to the ambassador and gave him his butter, the ambassador asked for not one but 2 pats of butter.  The young soldier stated that they only had enough for 1 per person and that that was all he could give. The ambassador heard this and smiled. Then asked if the soldier knew who he was? The soldier acknowledged that he did not know who he was but that he could only give one pat of butter. The ambassador then stated that he has graduated from a very prestigious school, has worked for the country for over 20 years, listed a few accomplishments and then ordered again for 1 more pat of butter.
After this the soldier said that those were all great accomplishments he then asked him, 'Do you know who I am?'
The ambassador looked the young soldier up and down and followed with a, 'no.'  The young soldier then responded, 'My name is Jones sir, and I am in charge of the butter.'
In my eyes, my grandpa, knew who he was, knew where he stood, and knew of his purpose and duty during this life. He is like Lehi of old, 'Having none other object save it be the everlasting welfare of your souls.'
My grandpa, how ever funny he was,  always had one object, and that was to raise his family in the gospel. "For I know that if ye are brought up in the way ye should go ye will not depart from it.'
Almost 2 years ago I had the opportunity to talk to my grandpa in the MTC about what laid ahead of him.  I asked him questions like why, what will he do, and how?  He answered with more confidence and prestige in his voice and said, " Macay, I have 2 choices,  I can stand up against this wall looking at how big it is and how hard it will be, or i can turn and face the fire with a smile."
Although now is a time of mourning,  I know, just as my grandfather DOES know, that 'The righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever."
In closing,  I know my grandfather is here with me doing the best work that this life and the next can offer. This is the work of our Lord and I am so thankful that soon through the wonderful plan of our God, that I will see him again, pain free. And that I now stand that much more shoulder to shoulder with my grandpa saying."We know that which the Lord hath commanded us, and we glory in it. We do anot bglory of ourselves, but we glory in that which the Lord hath commanded us; yea, and this is our glory, that perhaps we may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is our joy.'
Jesus Christ lives. And because He lives I will be able to see my grandpa.  For now and forever, I love you grandpa.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Obituary for George Donald Eldredge Jr.

George Donald Eldredge Jr. passed away July 19, 2013, at his home in Provo, Utah.  Don was born Dec. 9, 1944, in Twin Falls, Idaho, to George Donald Eldredge and Velma Hatch Eldredge.  Don graduated from Springville High School in 1963 and later attended Brigham Young University.  He served an LDS mission in the North British Mission from 1964 to 1966.  He married and became the father of 6 children.  He was later divorced.  He married Kaye Tucker on Nov. 2, 1996, in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple, American Fork, Utah.  Don was an excellent brick mason and worked in the construction industry, supervising the construction of many buildings, including LDS chapels.  He served In the Army National Guard.  He is survived by wife, Kaye, mother-in-law Judy Tucker, step-father Orson P. Arnold, and his children, George Donald Eldredge III (Amy),  Jenne Hunter (Val), Mikel Eldredge (Wendy), Denten Eldredge (Laurel), Brandon Eldredge (Rachel), Shantel Pack (Derrick), Ryan Barney (Lena), Amy Groves (Brandon), Matthew Barney (Sue), Daryn Barney (Kristi), Brandon Barney (Jessica), Travis Barney (Laura), Alyse Basilius (Aaron).  He is also survived by his brother and sisters, Susan Moon (Vernon), Tanya Carpenter, Cheryl Krum (Gary), Randy Eldredge (Tami), Rebecca Hoyt, and Elizabeth Nesbit (Rob).  Brothers and sisters in-law include Val Tucker (Elaine), Daryl Tucker (Alauna), Emily Dinsdale (Jeff), Ilene Voorhees (Brent), and Irene Cloward (Greg). He has 40 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins who love him dearly.  He  was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, Marc Linne’ Eldredge, and a granddaughter. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 27, 2013, in the Marrott Meadows LDS Chapel, 102 North 2400 West, Provo, Utah.   A viewing will be held at the same location on Friday, July 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 to 10:45 a.m.

Our beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother, George Donald Eldredge Jr., was released from his earthly life on July 19, 2013, at his home in Provo, Utah.  Don’s strength and determination allowed him to remain with us for 18 months after his diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer.  He endured this tremendous trial with amazing courage and demonstrated his great love and faith.  Because of the legacy he left us, we know he continues to live on in a place where he can continue to accomplish great things and bless our lives.  We miss him so very much, but look forward to a joyful reunion with him in a future day.

Don loved to share memories of his Idaho farm boy days on his Grandpa Eldredge’s farm in Buhl, Idaho.  He developed a special bond with his Grandpa, as he lived on the farm with his mother and grandparents while his father was serving on the European Front during WWII.

He attended elementary schools in Buhl, Idaho, as well as in Provo and Orem, Utah.  He graduated from Springville High School in 1963, in Springville, Utah.  Don was active in athletic programs in high school and lettered in football, baseball, and track.  His love of sports was a lifelong passion.  He always loved singing the Cougar Fight Song and used it as the wake-up call for his children as they grew up.

Upon graduation from high school, Don enlisted in the Army National Guard and went to basic training at Fort Ord, California.  This was during the Viet Nam conflict.  He was not called to active duty but willingly prepared to serve his country.

He served an LDS mission in the North British Mission from 1964 to 1966 under mission presidents Grant Thorn and Wilford Payne.  When he returned home he enrolled at BYU and studied there for 3 ½  years.  During that time he was married and became the father of 6 children.  For the next 26 years he worked in construction, traveling throughout the western United States to support his family.  His marriage ended in divorce.  Two years later he was reunited with his high school sweetheart, Kaye Tucker.  They were married in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple, in American Fork, Utah, on November 2, 1996.   They have been delighted to share all the wonderful experiences of life with their blended family of 13 children and spouses, 40 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.  Don was so pleased to tell others about his 4 grandsons who are all serving LDS missions currently.  He also treasured so many fun parties, trips and adventures with brothers and sisters, nieces, nephews and cousins.  These cherished memories of his humor, loving concern, and desire to make us all happy, will be with us forever.

Don and Kaye built a home in Provo, which was always “home base” for them.  However, they were also able to enjoy some great times living in Tucson and Maricopa, Arizona, while Don supervised construction of LDS chapels there.  Particularly cherished is the experience they had while Don was serving as Branch President on the SanTan Indian Reservation in Maricopa.

One of his greatest joys was working as the school crossing guard at Amelia Earhart Elementary in Provo, Utah, during the past year. He loved all the children and their parents.  Looking forward to greeting them with a joke and some words of encouragement was a big highlight in his day.  It motivated him to push through any physical discomfort because he wanted to be there for them.  He also enjoyed knowing and working with all the faculty and staff at Amelia Earhart.

Throughout his life Don grew in his love of the Savior and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He loved serving as a temple worker and held many other positions of service in the church.  Until his death, he was serving as the ward mission leader.  That experience led him to many wonderful relationships with missionaries and others. 

As Don now leaves us for a time, we know his love and service will extend beyond the veil to those of us who remain behind and miss him so much.  Our memories will be bright and our love will continue to grow as we await our reunion with him.  We love you forever, dear husband, father, and friend.

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