Robert J. Eldridge, 73, of North Hanover Township, a two-term mayor there in the 1980s, died Saturday, March 28, at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton, after a fall at home.

Mr. Eldridge was elected to the five-member Township Committee and served from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, his son Thomas said.

The committee members rotated one-year terms as mayor, his son said, and Mr. Eldridge served twice.

"He was the type of person who never met a stranger," his son said. "He loved to talk your ear off."

And, his son said, "he was very active in the community. Always thinking of other people besides himself."

Since 1974, Mr. Eldridge had been a member of the Cookstown Volunteer Fire Company, Deputy Fire Chief Lee Hill said.

"He joined with me" in that year, Hill said, and during his long membership served as company chief and company treasurer.

"He was a very pleasant gentleman," Hill said.

Born in Trenton, Mr. Eldridge graduated from Pemberton High School in 1959 and served as an Army military policeman from 1959 to 1962, mostly at Fort Dix.

From the 1970s into the 2000s, he was a custodian for the North Hanover Township Board of Education, primarily at its schools at McGuire Air Force Base. He was state certified to work on the boiler systems at the schools.

And for several years, his son said, he was a volunteer chaperone on fifth-grade school trips to Camp Bernie, a YMCA retreat in Port Murray in Warren County.

When his two sons were students at the Clarence B. Lamb Elementary School in North Hanover, Thomas said, Mr. Eldridge was an assistant coach for their Little League teams.

Since the 1990s, Mr. Eldridge had been an elder at Plumsted Presbyterian Church in New Egypt, where he was a baritone in the choir and for a time sang with Thomas at Sunday worship services.

Since 2008, he had been a member of the New Egypt Historical Society.

Besides son Thomas, Mr. Eldridge is survived by son Justin, three sisters, and three grandchildren. His wife, Dorothy, died in 2013.

A visitation was set from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, at the Tilghman Funeral Home, 52 Main St., New Egypt, with a funeral there at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 8, and burial in the Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in North Hanover.

Donations may be sent to Plumsted Presbyterian Church, 14 Front St., New Egypt, N.J. 08533.

Condolences may be offered to the family at www.tilghmanfh.com.

wnaedele@phillynews.com

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