David Spence Eldridge was born on September 14, 1936, the firstborn son of three, to Clarence Eldridge and Estelle Spence Eldridge. His sweet chariot came for him and carried him home on March 8, 2022. The first five years of David’s life, the country was in a depression and the next years, the country was in World War II. He recalled memories from both often. When David was about 7 years old, he contracted Polio and was admitted to the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital. His recovery was so remarkable, he survived with no disability, and he was featured in a story in the Daily Oklahoman. David graduated from Capitol Hill High School in 1954 and attended Harding College, in Searcy Arkansas. He loved to give the account that as he was preparing to leave for college, he took his little brother, Kent, to his first day of kindergarten. Prior to his junior year at Harding, he returned to Oklahoma City for the summer and attended a church service at the Church of Christ. As he reported, he went to the Bible study class and sat next to the prettiest girl in the class, Patricia Poe. After class, he invited Patricia to Orange Julius for a refreshing drink and then informed her that he would pick her up the following Saturday to go to a movie. He intentionally did not give her his number so she could not break the date. When he returned to Harding in the fall, it just happened that Patricia had also enrolled in Harding College. David was a tremendous athlete and loved biking, skiing, and tennis. He played competitive tennis both in high school and college. David and Pat married while they were both in college, and of their union three children were born, Mike, Gregory, and Robin.
David graduated from Harding College. He taught English 1 year in Tucumcari, New Mexico. He briefly attended University of Oklahoma in a graduate English program, and then enrolled in law school at Oklahoma City University. According to David, he attributed his scholastic success to getting to know his professors. He recounted one occasion that he informed his professor that he was going to make an A in his class and that he would need his help to do so. After flunking the midterm exam in astonishing fashion, his professor said that he had did his part and asked David what he would do. David responded that he would have to write “one … of a final,” He did. After graduating from Oklahoma City University Law School, second in his class, he began a stellar legal career. He was an expert in banking law, bankruptcy law, and commercial law. David’s advocation allowed him to take on legal controversies throughout the United States. After law school, David was a businessperson who led a public company, developed housing, and commercial properties. By his own account “he made millions and lost millions. He and a partner formed an auction business that took him around the globe. To his regret, David’s great legal successes, all too often took him away from the very ones that he was working for, Patricia, Mike, Gregory, and Robin. After David and Patricia divorced, they remained loyal friends. David then married Mary Kay and were together for 20 years. They divorced in 2013 and remained friends.
David loved history, literature, show tunes, classical music, and litigation. David had a working knowledge of Shakespeare, My Fair Lady, the Civil War, both World Wars, Winston Churchill, and the Bible. David was a voracious reader, and it was not uncommon for David to read three books week. He loved fiction, non-fiction, history, philosophy, and poetry. David’s career was interrupted by a head injury suffered while biking. However, during the last two years of his life, and though it was clear that his health was failing, he litigated dozens of cases. As a result, David established a foundation, Go, Set A Watchman, in order to fund “the little guy” when they battled a Goliath. His love of the law resulted in his brother, Kent, his son Greg, and his nephew, Jackson following him in the practice of law.
David was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Estelle, and his brother Mike Eldridge (Sue). He leaves behind him his son Mike (Laura) of Tulsa, son Gregory (Melissa) of Oklahoma City, one daughter Robin Bell of Oklahoma City, and her son Nicholas Bell (Ashley) of Houston, one brother Clarence Kent Eldridge (Guinise) of Forest Park, Oklahoma. Also, grandchildren, Ashley, Allison, Zach, Sean, Christopher, Isabel and one great-granddaughter, Josephina and nieces and nephews.
The family thanks Good Shephard Hospice and Bellevue Health& Rehab for their care of David. The family also thanks, Greg, Melissa, Sean, Robin Kent and Guinise who provided loving care during hospice.