Dr. Thomas Eldridge

Dr. Thomas Haws Eldridge

Saturday, March 16th, 1946 - Friday, October 23rd, 2020
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Dr. Thomas Haws Eldridge, 74, of Salem, VA, passed away suddenly on October 23, 2020. A native of Illinois, he was born in Evanston in 1946 and graduated from Palatine High School in 1964. After graduating from Amherst College in 1968, he earned an M.D. degree from the University of Virginia in 1972.
From 1977 to 2020, Dr. Eldridge was a physician and an administrator at the outpatient department of the Salem V.A. Medical Center. For 36 years he was a member of St. Thomas of Canterbury Anglican Catholic Church in Roanoke, where he was serving as senior warden at the time of his death.
He was predeceased by his parents, Floyd James Eldridge and Josephine Aldendifer Eldridge, and by his older brother, James Alden Eldridge. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Barbara Gray Eldridge, and by his children, Katie (Ellen) Eldridge and Thomas Jackson Eldridge.
Instead of flowers, donations may be made to St. Thomas Church or to the Salem VAMC Volunteer Services.
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Sharon Bohon

Posted at 01:38am
The care, expertise and dedication shown to all his patients will never be forgotten. I am certain that he has had a wondrous, joyous homecoming. I am thankful that I knew Dr. Eldridge both professionally and as a spiritual leader. His wife Barbara and their two children will miss him more than words can express. His family here at the VAMC will miss him as well. His legacy as a healer and a follower of Christ will always be remembered.

Ron Malachowsky

Posted at 10:42am
It is with great sadness but nevertheless with fondness that I share the following with my co-workers: Tom had an amusing way of knocking on my office door each & every day, standing there smiling, & saying: "Well, hello", which would immediately bring a smile to my soul. And then those 2 words would invariably be a harbinger of one of his myriad stories he would absolutely love to share, stories often educating me how much he cared for & loved his wife & children. Yes, he could never dote enough on them, especially his daughter's pitching arm. And over time as I finally had the pleasure of working with him I had the satisfaction of seeing up close one of the most empathetic physicians I have ever met although as he would often remark to me: "I'm empathetic but not sympathetic", and he would invariably smile. He was truly gifted as quickly defusing & disarming agitated patients & their families; his quiet confidence & soothing vocal tone usually reassured them. He was "always" available whenever I had a concern or question to which I will forever be indebted to him. And lastly, he was a fine, human being who gave his all for our vets & his family. You will be sorely missed.
Ron Malachowsky,PA-C

Bernie Dunne, MD

Posted at 08:50am
When I came to the Salem VA in 1993 Tom became my mentor and over the years he helped me become a better physician and teacher. His expert guidance helped me function within the sometimes confusing bureaucracy of the VA system.

He and I had a lot in common since we were both from the suburbs of Chicago and grew up in the turbulent 1960's; we both chose medicine as a career for similar reasons and we shared strong views on the importance of strict medical ethics and hard work. AndTom always had great stories to tell and laughs to share.

He was one of the best friends I ever had and will be sorely missed by myself, his colleagues and the many patients whose lives were improved because of his excellent care. My deepest condolences and prayers go out to Barbara, Katie and Jackson.

Stephanie Lee

Posted at 08:46am
To Katie and family, I am so saddened by your loss. Although I never spent as much time in person with your dad as I would have liked, I felt like I knew him because whenever Katie and I were together he would always give her messages to me, sometimes just saying hi but often something about the Cubs because he knew I am a White Sox fan. You all have my prayers now and always.

Wendy Poore

Posted at 11:07am
I was assigned to work with Dr. E when I first came to work at the VA in 1992. That started a friendship grew beyond the walls of the VA and with each passing year so many wonderful memories were made. To Barbara, Katie and Jackson...James and I are so very sorry for your loss and you are all on our minds and in our hearts.

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