Graveside memorial service for Mary “Jan” Simms Eldridge, age 62, of Fayetteville, Georgia, will be conducted at 10 AM on Saturday, July 7, 2018 at Higgins Cedar Hills Memorial Gardens (23 Memory Lane, Fayetteville, TN 37334). Mrs. Eldridge joined the saints of her family on January 16, 2018, in Atlanta, Georgia, succumbing to cancer related respiratory failure. She was surrounded by her sons, daughter-in-law and husband.
Jan was born on September 30, 1955, to Lester and Faye (Moore) Simms, in Fayetteville, Tennessee. Married to James G. Eldridge of West Warwick, Rhode Island, in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 22, 1983. Their thirty-five-year relationship originated out of their mutual professions as federal officers at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Jan initially attended Mississippi College for Women on scholarship, completing her under graduate degree at Memphis University. She began her employment in Atlanta, Georgia in 1980, as an immigration officer with the U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, rising to the position of Assistant Port Director. With the reorganization of federal service after 09/11, Jan served under Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), as a Supervisory Mission Support Manager, and rising to the rank of Deputy Assistant Director Mission Support. She was responsible for many of the federal infrastructure improvement of CBP facilities in major ports of entry up and down the Southeast such as Norfolk, Charleston, Charlotte, Atlanta and Savannah. She was an accomplished musician serving as a backup organist for many years at her local church.
She was survived by her husband, James Eldridge of Fayetteville, GA; son Benjamin Eldridge and wife Dr. Elizabeth Dehaven West Eldridge of Gear, South Carolina; son Samuel Eldridge of Fayetteville, Georgia; brothers, Wayne (Shelia) Simms of Fayetteville and Lionel (Pam) Simms of Baton Rouge, LA; nephew, Heath Simms of Fayetteville; nieces, April Sims of Fayetteville, Jennifer (Shane) Chambers of Beaumont, TX, Lindsey (John) Gilliam of Baton Rouge, LA, and Meghan (Seth) Chenevert of Baton Rouge, LA; and several great-nieces, great-nephews, and cousins. Preceding Jan in death were her father, Lester Simms and mother Faye (Moore) Simms of Fayetteville, Tennessee.
Please in lieu of flowers, make donation to Matthew 28, (www.matthew28.org) (Donation checks can be mailed to our treasurer at 222 Vega Rd. Meansville, GA 30256.
Lionel, Wayne and Families, my heart goes out to each of you. Losing a sibling is unimaginably hard. Losing a wife and Mother is so hard also.
I always loved Jan! She was so full of life and so friendly. I am so sorry for each of you.
Wayne, we are so sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers
Dear Wayne and Lionel and Family,
We have so many fond memories of Jan. She was such a sweet girl growing up. We always considered your family part of our extended family. May God lend you comfort and ease during this very difficult time.
Jan was a true Warrior in every sense of the word. I had no idea of all she had accomplished in her life. We live very near each other and at our last class reunion, we talked about getting together. we never did and I regret that. She was a beautiful soul and fought so hard. Fly high Jan, watch over us.
I grew up with this sweet woman. So outgoing and full of life, and always smiling. Jan will be missed by so many, and know that she was loved by so many. Prayers to all her family. ??