Thomas L. Eldridge

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Thomas Eldridge (“Les”), of Sebastian, Fla., formerly of Edgartown and Nantucket, passed away peacefully on Sept. 23, 2021, with his children around him in his home in Sebastian, at the age of 89.

He was born in Bayshore, N.Y., in 1932. He was the only son of Donald and Margaret Eldridge. He graduated from Bayshore High School in 1949. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War as a medic, with the rank of sergeant. He was a private boat captain, commercial fisherman, and a shipping agent, with his last vessel boarded at the age of 84.

His fishing adventures took him to many ports throughout the oceans, in places like Montauk, Chatham, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Bimini, Cat Cay, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Hawaii, but none were more beloved than the rips off Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. He was a proud member of the “Dirty Dozen,” a group of Nantucket friends who returned the Nantucket Lightship to the Island in 1975, where it served as a museum under the watch of the Nantucket Historical Association.

Always tinkering with boats, he loved designing and building the many boats he owned over the years. An avid hunter, he recalled with great joy the days of duck and goose hunting with the boys at the Holdgate camp on Muskeget, as well as his South Dakota pheasant trips with his son, son-in-law, and grandsons.

He is survived by three daughters, Janice Eldridge of Sebastian, Julie Rezendes and her husband Alfred of Nantucket, and Jayne Ruley (his sister in-law, but a daughter for sure) of Port Charlotte, Fla.; one son, William Eldridge and his wife Christine of Rowley; by two sisters, Babe Klees and Donna Pedersen of Islip, N.Y.; by six grandchildren, Shaunna, Lindsey, Nick, Stephanie, Luke, and Alex, as well as by 6 great-grandchildren.

Fair winds and following seas, Captain, as you pass over the bar. A celebration of life will be held in Edgartown in the spring of 2022. SNAFU.