“Les Eldridge, a former Thurston commissioner, author and historian, dies at 81”
- Editor’s note: When I moved to Yelm in 1988, Commissioner Eldridge was a leader in guiding the county into the growth management era. Yelm’s city leaders and the voting majority of councils to this day have resisted such visionary guidance in this city’s own growth management.
“Lester Waldron Eldridge, a community leader, Thurston County commissioner, author, and historian, died Aug. 1 from congestive heart failure, surrounded by family at his Olympia area home. He was 81.
“Born Nov. 9, 1937 in Seattle, Eldridge spent much of his adult life in the South Sound. He was elected to the county commission in 1982 and served three terms. He helped guide the county into the era of growth management, championed creation of the Mima Glacial Heritage Preserve near Littlerock, and led the county’s efforts in comparable worth and non-discriminatory hiring.”
“His community service was exhaustive and diverse. Among his many positions were vice chair of Puget Sound Water Quality, president of the Thurston County Economic Development Council, maritime history instructor at Evergreen and South Puget Sound Community College, co-chair of the legislative steering committee for the Washington Association of Counties, president of the Washington State Capital Museum’s maritime chapter, and president of the South Sound Maritime Heritage Association.”
“A celebration of life is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 22, at Swantown Marina. Details will be posted online at www.funeralalternatives.org,” by John Dodge for The Olympian.