Kenneth (Kenny) Beryal Eldridge, 97, of Burns, Oregon, passed away at his residence on January 25, 2022. On Saturday, February 12, 2022, a graveside service will be held at 1:00 PM at the Harney City Cemetery. Pastor Mark Webb will be officiating the service.
Born to Rosa and John Eldridge in Stafford, Kansas, on April 2, 1924, Kenny was one of five children, who have all preceded him in death along with his oldest son Kenny Lee and his first wife, Billie.
When Kenny was 2 1/2 years old, his family moved to Duke, Oklahoma, after the wheat harvest. Kenny and his grandpa took a wagon and horses carrying a load of furniture; it took two weeks to get to Duke because of flooded rivers. Kenny's dad went to work for a thrashing crew. The family then moved to Mangum, Oklahoma, where Kenny's dad preached; he was a Quaker preacher.
When Kenny was ten years old, the family moved back to Duke, Oklahoma, on a sharecropper farm. Kenny and his dad were digging a pit silo; he was driving a team of horses when one of the horses quit pulling. Kenny's dad took the tines to make the horse start pulling the horse kicked out, hitting his dad in the stomach. His dad died three days later.
Kenny did his schooling at Duke University. The school went from first grade to 12th grade; they called it Duke University because the board only hired university teachers. He left high school and took a job driving truck, building the Altus, Oklahoma, airbase for $0.60 an hour. He quit that job and went to California by way of Hwy 66. After arriving in California, he went to work for Douglas Aircraft for $0.65 an hour, and after one year, Kenny was sent a letter that said, your friends and neighbors have selected you for service. This was when Kenny was drafted into the army. He was sent to Camp Roberts in California from there to Ford Ord, California, and then he was finally sent to New Guinea to fight his way back to the other islands in the Philippines.
Kenny was wounded on Morotai Island and was then sent to Mindanao Island, where he was wounded again. After being injured two times, he was sent back to California when the war was over. He took a job back at Douglas Aircraft and spent 18 years employed there; this is where he met his first wife, Billie Jean. Kenny and Billy had three boys, Kenny Lee, Randy, and Fred. The family moved to Oakdale, California, where he had a dairy. Later he bought some horses and equipment and started a riding stable in the mountains during the summer and deer season. In the winter, he went back to Oakdale, California. Kenny then went to work in Southern California building houses.
Later, when the boys were almost grown, Kenny met Judy Hanson. Kenny moved back to Oklahoma, where Kenny and Judy were married. They started a cattle ranch, and Kenny went to work for an engineering company building hospitals, schools, and factories for 16 years. Kenny and Judy moved to Florida for seven years, and while there, they remodeled a house for his younger brother. In 1993 they moved to Burns, Oregon, and never left; they fell in love with the people and the country.
Kenny is survived by his wife Judy, his sons Randy and Fred (Kandi), daughter-in-law Pat, six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and many great-great-grandchildren.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project through Driskill Memorial Chapel at 241 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, Oregon 97845.
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