A longtime Hamilton County educator and school board member has died. William Gene “Bill” Eldridge passed away Thursday at the age of 92.

He was born on May 23, 1926. He was a graduate of Soddy Daisy High School, The University of Chattanooga, and George Peabody College. He also attended American University in Biarritz, France while serving in the Army in World War II.

Eldridge entered World War II at the age of 18.  He spent five months in combat, including the Battle of the Bulge, with the 79th Division Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop (Mechanized). He earned WWII Combat Battle Stars for the Rhineland and Central Europe Campaigns. He also was part of the security force over Nuremberg prisoners of war.

He was a Hamilton County administrator for 43 years, retiring in 1993. Following his retirement, he served on the Hamilton County School Board, serving District 1 from 1996 to 2004. He was the first principal in surrounding counties to reach Level 3 of the state's Career Ladder Program.

He was a member of Sale Creek Presbyterian Church and served as a deacon.  He later attended Soddy United Methodist Church.

Eldridge is recognized on the Wall of Fame at Veterans Park by the city of Soddy Daisy for his World War II service and was inducted into the Soddy Daisy High School Hall of Fame in 2013.

The family will be receiving friends on Saturday, November 3 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Funeral services will be held on Sunday, November 4 at 2:00 PM at Williamson and Sons Funeral Home in Soddy Daisy.