27 April 2002
Walter Joshua "Jay" Eldredge, Jr., passed away peacefully at his home on his birthday, April 27, 2002 of causes incident to Parkinson's disease and age. He was born in Salt Lake City, UT exactly eighty-nine years ago in 1913 to Walter Joshua and Lutie Susanna Nicholson Eldredge. He married one of the "beautiful Hyde sisters," Marjorie Ormsby Hyde, November 30, 1936 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.
Dad lived a life of humble service which included a mission to the British Isles, Bishop in the emerging Parley's area for eleven years beginning at age 30, Stake President, President of the Eastern States Mission, General President of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints, Regional Representative, Temple Sealer, and Stake Patriarch.
As well as being a sensitive and loving builder of people, he was a creative builder of buildings to which he applied not only his administrative and design skills, but also his hammer. One of his contributions was the remodeling of the Old Lyric Theater to become the Promised Valley Playhouse. Some others included the re-building of the Brighton LDS Girls Camp, the building of the Brighton LDS Chapel and the renovation of an old Brownstone in New York City to become the meeting place for a Spanish-speaking branch.
As founder, in 1945, and president of Eldredge Furniture Co., he was known in the business world for his integrity and fairness. He served in leadership positions in his professional organizations and on the Boards of the LDS Hospital and the University of Utah Alumni Association. Prior to starting his own business, he worked together with his father and brother at Utah Idaho School Supply Co.
For over 65 years, Marj and Jay enjoyed laughter and love and the intellectual and spiritual stimulation of a group of former British and European missionaries and their spouses in the Windsor Club; and, for almost as long, in a neighborhood group known affectionately as "Ping Pong". For as long as his health would allow, his famous spin drop-shot continued to perplex his long-time tennis friends.
Jay is survived by his wife; a brother, John Nicholson Eldredge; and by five grateful children; 21 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren. The children are: Dr. Jay Eldredge, Medford, NJ, Heidi (Bill) Vriens, Sharon (Randall G.) Harmsen, Brent (Cynthia Mackey) Eldredge, and Rosemary (David R.) Olsen, all of Salt Lake City.
His posterity will always remember and try to follow, as he did, his heart-felt and oft repeated injunctions: "Keep it simple" and "Be believing."
Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 2nd, 2002, 1 p.m. at the Parley's 1st and 6th ward chapel, 2350 So. 2100 E., Salt Lake City. Friends may call Wednesday from 6- 8 p.m. at Larkin Sunset Lawn Mortuary, 2350 E. 1300 So., or at the ward, Thursday 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m prior to services. Interment in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
The family wishes to express its deepest thanks to those that gave such tender and dignified care to Jay in his declining years. They include: Valeria Ribeiro Hirschi, Adriana Chagas, Veronica Nascimento, Ana Xarape, Rosana Martins, and Solange Rocha.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the Perpetual Education Fund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.