Obituary of Richard "Dick" Eldredge
ILION – Richard “Dick” Carl Eldredge, age 75, of Ilion, passed away peacefully on Friday, March 17, 2017, at the Masonic Care Community, Utica, with the comfort of his loving family present.
He was born on December 20, 1941, in Albany, NY, the son of the late Henry Harvey Eldredge and Laura Elizabeth Winnie Eldredge. In the summer of 1942, they moved to the family farm on South Buel Road in the Town of Canajoharie. Richard attended a one room school in the hamlet of Buel, NY, for his first two years, and graduated with the class of 1961 at Canajoharie Central School. He attended SUNY at Oswego and MVCC.
On March 14, 1964, Richard married Sandra Lee Haig at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Canajoharie, and shared a loving union of 53 years. He enlisted in the US Navy in 1965, and was on active duty in 1966 thru 1967, when he was honorably discharged. He worked for several years at Beech-Nut Life Savers, Inc., before becoming full time with the United States Postal Service in Canajoharie, where he was a letter carrier, clerk, and became a Supervisor before moving to Ilion in 1980 as Postmaster. Richard retired from the USPS in 1992 and worked for Wal-Mart in Marcy and Herkimer from 1994 to 2005. He enjoyed spending time with his family, and traveling and cruising with his wife, family and friends during his retirement.
Richard was baptized at the Buel Presbyterian Church. He was a former member of St. John’s – St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Canajoharie, where he served on the Church Council. Upon moving to Ilion in 1980, Richard and his family joined the First Presbyterian Church of Ilion, where he served as a Sunday School teacher, PYF Advisor, member of the Board of Deacons, Elder, and Presbytery Representative.
Richard joined the Masons in 1963. He was raised by his father at Cherry Valley Lodge No. 334 and also held a dual membership in Olive Branch No. 40 in Ilion (formerly Ilion Lodge No. 591). He served as master of Cherry Valley Lodge in 1977 and Ilion Lodge No. 591 in 1992. He was District Deputy Grand Master of the Herkimer Masonic District 1994-1996. Richard also was a proud member of Evening Star Valley Chapter No. 82, Order of the Eastern Star. He served many times as their Patron and served the OES Grand Chapter of New York in 2006 as District Grand Lecturer of the Fulton-Hamilton-Herkimer-Montgomery District; in 2009 as an Associate Grand Sentinel; and in 2013 as Chief Commissioner of Appeals. He also supported the Masonic Youth Groups, and was a Daddy of Marigold Triangle No. 109 in Ilion and a Chapter Dad for Roosevelt Chapter DeMolay. Richard was a member of Iroquois Chapter No. 236, Royal Arch Masons; Utica Commandery #3 Knights Templar; a member and Past Commander of the Battle of Oriskany Post No. 55, Masonic War Veterans of NY; and a 47-year member of American Legion Post No. 222 in Canajoharie. He also enjoyed his eighteen-year membership in Ilion Elks #1444 and served as their Treasurer for several years. Richard, at one time, served on the Fort Plain Central School Board of Education, the Mohawk Valley General Hospital Board, and the Ilion Board of Light Commissioners. In addition, he was an avid Buffalo Bills fan and enjoyed participating as a referee for AYSO Soccer in Ilion.
Richard is survived by his loving wife, Sandra. Family always came first for Richard, and he often said the best titles he ever had in life were “Dad”, “Papa” and “Grandpa”. He often told his family “Count Your Blessings”. Richard was very proud of his four daughters and their families, and his exchange student daughter and her family in Finland. He is also survived by his daughters, Jennifer and her husband, Michael Marro, of Ilion, Colleen Eldredge, of Rochester and Ilion, Andrea and her husband, William Williams, Jr., of Ballston Spa, Marcia and her husband, Paul Lynch, of Ilion, and Kirsi and her husband, Jari Viskari, of Rauma, Finland. The true joys of his life were grandchildren, Amanda Marro and her fiance, Sean Small, Alexander Marro, and Payton and Lincoln Lynch, all of Ilion, Zachary and Megan Williams, of Ballston Spa, and Iiro and Lilli Viskari, of Rauma, Finland. Richard is also survived by his sisters, Donna Hodge and her husband, Philip Raeder, of Myrtle Beach, SC, and Alice and her husband, James Crosier, of Fort Plain; his brothers, Leslie Eldredge and his wife, Kathy, of Colorado Springs, CO, Harold Eldredge and his wife, Diane, of Delanson, and Dennis Eldredge and his wife, Mary, of Clifton Park; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Walter and Roberta Haig, of Canajoharie; a very special uncle and aunt, James and Irene Winnie, of Ney, Ohio; many cousins, nieces and nephews; and many cherished friends.
He was predeceased by his parents; his in-laws, Leland and Eleanor Haig; and his niece, Christy Marie Eldredge.
The family would like to thank the devoted care givers and staff at the Masonic Care Community. We will also ever be grateful to the many doctors who cared above and beyond over the years, including George Markwardt, PA, Dr. Ronald Kaye and Cynthia Koval, PA, Dr. Autal Butala, and Dr. Scott Brehaut.
Calling hours will be held on Thursday, March 23, 2017, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Applegate-Day & Enea Family Funeral Home’s original location at 102 West St., Ilion.
The Ilion Olive Branch Masonic Lodge #40 service and the Ilion Evening Star Valley Chapter #82 Order of the Eastern Star service will be held on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at the conclusion of calling hours at the funeral home on West St., Ilion.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, March 24, 2017, at the Ilion First Presbyterian Church, 90 Morgan St., Ilion, NY, with Pastor Rick Riggle officiating. Spring burial will be held at Armory Hill Cemetery, Ilion.
Anyone wishing to share a memory of Dick, or add to his online memorial, may go to www.applegateandday.com.
In lieu of flowers, as an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be made to the Masonic Care Community, Business Office, 2150 Bleecker St., Utica, NY 13501-1788, or the Eastern Star Home, P.O. Box 959, Oriskany, NY 13424. Envelopes are also available at the funeral home.
All service arrangements have been entrusted to friends and neighbors, Funeral Directors, Don Applegate and Marty Ciaccia, assisted by Sandy’s special friend, Judy Applegate.