Robert Barry Eldridge, born July 3, 1946 to Delbert and Elva Eldridge, passed away due to cardiac arrest on September 9, 2023. Bob grew up as the middle child in Spring Valley at the 8-Mile Ranch with his brothers and sisters. He always knew how to create a ruckus. He attended grade school at the 8-Mile, Taft, and Muncy Creek grade schools. It didn’t take much of high school for Bob to acknowledge school wasn’t for him and he began a life of hard work. He worked on ranches in Arizona and Nevada before joining the Army. Bob served in the 101st Airborne in Vietnam in the A Shau Valley and providing security on Highway 1. After dismissal from the Army, Bob returned to the Ely area. He married Barbara Schilling on December 24, 1970. Bob and Barbara had two sons, Justin and Jeremy. Bob worked various jobs for Kennecott Copper. Although he enjoyed working for Kennecott, he continued ranch work as well. At one of his ranch jobs, a cousin encouraged him to pursue a mechanic job for Cashman Equipment in Reno. Bob, Barbara, and the boys moved to Reno where Bob began a career at Cashman. He was promoted to Service Manager of the Las Vegas repair shop, but Las Vegas wasn’t a good fit for his family, so he returned to Reno. Bob left Cashman and started a heavy equipment repair business with a coworker, working in Northern California and Nevada primarily, and eventually becoming the sole owner. While operating the business he was able to work with both of his sons, pleased they had the skills to perform all the things he did. Bob could easily rebuild a CAT D8 46A dozer front to back. As Bob traveled from mine to mine repairing equipment, his heart began to pull him back home. He started visiting Spring Valley more and more, and his stays became longer. In 1997 after completing a pipeline welding job, he retired from being a full-time mechanic to become a full-time rancher. Bob was truly at home.
Bob always had a story to tell. Many were funny, but most included a lesson to share that he had learned from his Grandpa George, or someone else he had worked with. Bob was selfless, loved helping people, and much like the days when his Grandma Mary had lived there, no one left the Muncy ranch hungry. He could see something that he wanted to get done, and it was usually completed soon thereafter. Bob became a prolific gardener and loved sharing his bounty right up to his last moments. Bob loved to get up early, work all day, then sit and listen to a fire at night.
Bob is preceded in death by his parents, son Jeremy, ex-wife Barbara, brother Brent, and sister Mary Edith. He is survived by his son Justin, grandsons Wyatt and Tucker, and the apple of his eye, granddaughter Sydney. In addition, he is survived by his brothers Gordon, Dennis (Mary), Mike (Debbie Underwood), sister Betty Thiessen (Bill), and numerous nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held in Spring Valley in the spring of 2024. The time and location will be announced at a later date. The family appreciates all the support and condolences offered these past weeks.