Aethelred Eldridge

Aethelred Eldridge

MILLFIELD — Aethelred Eldridge, born James Edward Leonard Eldridge on April 21, 1930 in Monroe, Michigan, passed away in the early morning hours of Nov. 12, 2018, at his home with family by his side, in Millfield. He was 88 years old.

Aethelred is survived by five daughters: Ilise Eldridge of Athens; Lora Maher of Canton, Georgia; Karla Eldridge of Columbus; Gretchen DeLong of Valdosta, Georgia; and Edie Eldridge of Baytown, Texas; as well as one son, Jan Eldridge of Athens; all six of whom were from his first marriage to Nancy Balkema McDaniel of Athens.

Aethelred is also survived by two sons, Saxon and Sebastian Eldridge of New York, New York, and their mother, Aethelred’s second wife, Alexandra (Devlin) Eldridge of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Eldridge is also survived by his third wife, Kate Gill, of Cleveland. Aethelred and Kate had a son by the name of Rintrah, or Rin. Sadly, Rin passed away in 2016.

Eldridge attended the University of Michigan on both academic and athletic scholarships and was a running back for the famed Michigan Wolverines. After earning his Masters in Fine Arts, Eldridge went on to join the U.S. Navy, during which he toured the world for two years on the USS Hornet, as a Secret Commander in charge of guarding the ship’s nuclear arsenal.

Upon his return, he was offered faculty positions by both the University of Michigan and Ohio University, ultimately choosing OU where he enlightened and inspired thousands of students over a record 54 years of teaching.

Eldridge was also the founder, along with his then-wife, Alexandra, of Golgonooza, the Church and School of William Blake. This thriving arts community was inspired by Blake’s Visionary City of Art and lasted for 17 years until arsons burnt it to the ground in 1988.

Eldridge was also honored for his work in 2001 by being listed in the Dictionary of Avant-Gardes alongside the likes of Warhol and Picasso.

In 2014, Eldridge’s work and dedication to the school and students were recognized when he was awarded Professor Emeritus status by the University.

And finally, although unverified, Eldridge claims to be the sole inventor of the Sharpie pen.

Services will be held for Eldridge at The Ridges Auditorium on Dec. 1, 2018, beginning at 2 p.m. For inquiries, please contact

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