James H. “Jim” Eldridge, 87, of Jonesborough, passed away Saturday, July 10, 2021, at his residence.

Mr. Eldridge was born in Lenoir City the son of the late Albert J. and Malissia Alexander Eldridge.

He was also preceded in death by his wife, Barbara C. Eldridge, in 2008; a son, William “Billy” Eldridge, in 2004; and a brother, William Eldridge.

He was a member of Boones Creek Baptist Church.

Jim, also known as “Ole Watermelon Man," had a B.S. degree from UT Knoxville in agronomy. He retired in 1986 from the United States Department of Agriculture as a district soil conservationist after serving 26 years. In 1977, Jim started the Washington County Soil Conservation District Youth Board for high school students within the Washington County school system. He also served on the Town of Jonesborough Tree & Townscape Committee and started several beautification projects.

Survivors include his children, Daniel Eldridge (Tammy), David Eldridge (Tina) and Lora Eldridge (Will Rhodes); grandchildren, Meredith Redman (Joseph), Abigail Eldridge, Collin Eldridge (fiancé Katie Beth Watts), Justin Eldridge (Whitney) and Ashley Atkins; great-grandchildren, Merritt Redman, Burkely Eldridge, Cody Atkins and Elliana Dane; sister, Mary Sue House; and several nephews and nieces.

The family would like to extend a special "thank you" to Amedisys Hospice, Reola Hopkins, Marcella Widner, Betty Ford and Valerie Vines for their wonderful loving care.

Private entombment services will be conducted at Washington County Memory Gardens. Pallbearers will be Justin Eldridge, Collin Eldridge, Joseph Redman, Will Rhodes and Dewayne Sparks. Honorary pallbearers will be Larry Huffine and Roy T. Foster.

In lieu of flowers, contributions for a scholarship in his memory can be made to the WCSCD Youth Board 1105 E. Jackson Blvd. #3, Jonesborough, TN 37659.

Condolences may be sent to the Eldridge family online at www.dillow-taylor.com.

Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Jonesborough, TN, 423-753-3821