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Roy Eldridge named Ossipee's Citizen of the Year



ELDRIDGE
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2018 Town of Ossipee Citizen of the Year Roy Eldridge was presented the honor by Selectman Martha Eldridge July 4 at his home while his daughter, Ruthann Nelson looked on. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
July 11, 2018
OSSIPEE — Roy Eldridge has been named 2018 Ossipee Citizen of the Year in honor of his decades of service to his hometown and its veterans. He was presented the award following the Independence Day parade July 4.

Eldridge, an Ossipee native, was born on Eldridge Hill, just two houses down from where he lives today. A World War II veteran, he joined the service when he was just 17, and served on an LC-140 landing craft in Normandy. He returned home and was employed by New Hampshire Fish and Game Department driving truck and delivering fish from the Sumner Brook Fish Hatchery to a variety of waterbodies throughout the area. During that time, he also raised turkeys and donated them as raffle fundraisers.

Eldridge and his wife of 60 years, Jean, often cleaned the First Congregational Church of Ossipee. He painted a portrait of Christ that hangs in the former Sunday school building.

His work honoring the town's veterans stems from a tradition his family started about 30 years ago – placing flags and markers on the graves of veterans throughout the town. Years of research was put into logging information into the ledgers that are still used today to ensure each veteran is recognized. Just a few years ago, the tradition was passed on to his daughter Ruthann Nelson who now handles the Granite section of Ossipee and to family friend Mark Washburn, who flags the graves at the rest of Ossipee's cemeteries. Eldridge also formed the wrought iron flag holder that now stands in the Veteran's Memorial Park on the front lawn of Ossipee Town Hall.

The annual Citizen of the Year award has been given since the 1970's to recognize an individual who best exemplifies the value of volunteerism in the community.

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