July 28, 2021

Mary E. Eldridge, age 89 of Defiance, Ohio, peacefully passed away on Thursday morning, July 22, 2021 at her home.   

She was born on June 13, 1932 to Dutton and Myrtle (Wilson) Hood in Big Stone Gap, VA. On June 12, 1953 she married Rev. James R. Eldridge Jr, who preceded her in death on October 26, 1993. 

Mary was a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Holgate, Ohio. She worked for over 16 years at Campbell’s Soup Company until her retirement in 1994. She worked together with her husband and his ministries, serving the communities of NW Ohio. She also worked for over 16 years at Campbell’s Soup Company in Napoleon, Ohio. Mary will be remembered by many for her selfless service and her kind and compassionate nature. She treasured her time spent with her family.  

Mary will be sadly missed by her children; James (Vaughnanda) Eldridge Jr. of Defiance, Bridgette (Norman) Stallard of Morristown, TN, Mary “Kathy” (Tom) Diemer of Defiance, Rhonda (Dan) Weber of Defiance, Pat (Dan) Jones of Antwerp, OH, and Rick (Janie) Eldridge of Defiance. She also leaves behind 18 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren, 10 great-great-grandchildren, her brother Dutton (Linda) Hood Jr. of Sherwood, OH, and her sister, Lois Kinsler of Big Stone Gap. 

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her loving husband of 40 years, Rev. James R. Eldridge, Sr., her son, Jerry G. Eldridge, sisters, Shirley Buell and Jean Buell, her brother, Doug Hood, and grandsons, Jarred Michael Deming and Patrick Richard Deming.

Visitation was held from 2-4 and 5-8 pm on Sunday, July 25 at Schaffer Funeral Home in Defiance. A funeral service was held at 11 am on Monday, July 26 at Holgate First Baptist Church, with Pastor Earl Grundy and Pastor Charles Alley officiating. Burial followed the service at Ayersville Cemetery.

Online condolences can be given at

Memorials are suggested to the James Eldridge Memorial Fund.