Van Buren Eldridge
May 25, 1930 - Jan 1, 2019
Van Buren Eldridge was born on May 25, 1930 in Oak Hurst, Texas and passed away in Sacramento, California on January 1, 2019.The eldest of 3 siblings, Van is preceded in death by parents, Willie Ann and William Eldridge; sister Dorthy (Andrew); brother Robey; and wife De Lois. He is survived by daughters Toni and Traci; nephews Melvin, Darrell, and Delton (Felicia); sister-in-law Bettye; and a host of cousins and close friends.
A veteran of the Korean War, Van joined the Army in 1949 and served nearly 4 years. Living in Portland, Oregon he furthered his education by taking courses at Portland State and began working at the United States Postal Service. In Portland he also met the woman of his dreams; Van and De Lois married on March 2, 1957. A stylish couple they enjoyed the newlywed life for several years before starting their family. In 1971 he was able to transfer to Sacramento where De Lois wanted to raise their 2 daughters.
In Sacramento Van was reunited with his maternal cousins from Texas, Alice and Brad. He always appreciated having them in his life and felt fortunate to share so many special occasions with them. A fan of various sports Van took his family to see the SF Giants, Oakland A’s, and Golden State Warriors; and he happily participated in his girls’ Pocket Bobby Sox softball activities: keeping score, supervising umpires, and selling candy to co-workers. There were also many excursions to Lake Tahoe and Reno. Staying true to his country roots, he had an impressive and bountiful vegetable garden. Family, neighbors, friends, and colleagues enjoyed the fruits of his labor.
After 33 years with the USPS, Van quietly retired in 1990. He took to walking the neighborhood daily, making lasting friendships along the way. Walking each day was also a license to indulge his sweet tooth every day, or so it seemed. He always kept a stash of candy bars. Having purchased season tickets for the Sacramento Kings Van and De Lois were regulars at ARCO Arena during the team’s best years. The two were also known to hit the road to attend family reunions. Sadly in 2004 Van lost his loving wife of 47 years. With the help of his daughters he was able to carry on for 14 more, taking joy in simple pleasures and spending time with family and friends. Van will be remembered fondly by many.