Eldridge Hardie, age 81, died at home on August 11, 2021. Eldridge was born on a small ranch near Boerne, Texas in 1940 and grew up in El Paso, where he attended Austin High School. He enrolled at the Washington University School of Fine Art in Saint Louis, where he graduated first in his class with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1964. Eldridge married Ann Zeldenrust in 1968 and made Denver home.
Throughout his life, Eldridge pursued his passions of bird hunting and fly fishing, which inspired his career in sporting art. A lifetime of his paintings and drawings, as well as notes, journal entries and other writings can be found in magazines, books, and the homes of his family and collectors. Eldridge summed up his long career by saying, “I was born to hunt, fish, and make art about these passions.”
Eldridge cherished his family and friends, expressing his love through small acts such as bringing Ann coffee every morning, carefully planning outings where his companion always got the best fishing hole, and being an attentive, compassionate listener. Eldridge strove to live his Catholic faith thoughtfully and authentically and drew strength and comfort from his Most Precious Blood Church community. Although a perfectionist, when lovingly teased by his family, he readily admitted that he was, “Often wrong, but never in doubt.” To his children and grandchildren, he modeled integrity, humility, perseverance, generosity, and honor.
In recent years, Eldridge focused on completing the second of two books of his art. Following its publication in 2019, he assumed a relaxed painting schedule and enjoyed more time outdoors with everyone from his oldest friends to his youngest grandchildren.
In reflecting on his life, Eldridge felt satisfied he’d accomplished many of his goals while having opportunities and enriching experiences he’d never imagined.
Eldridge is survived by his wife, Ann Hardie, his two children, Abigail Kovach (John Keith) and Tom Hardie (Kristin), four grandchildren, Hollan Hardie, Ana Kovach, Charlie Kovach, and Morgan Hardie, his brother, LeBron Hardie, and one almost-fully-trained retriever, Zinnia. Eldridge was preceded in death by his parents, LeBron and Alice Hardie, and his sister, Alice Walters.
Update: The funeral service will be streamed online on Thursday, September 16, 2021 at 10:00 am. Here is the link to watch the live streaming service https://mpbdenver.org/live/.
Out of an abundance of caution, in-person attendance will be limited to family. Thank you for your understanding.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Eldridge are welcome. The following are some of his favorite organizations.
Metro Caring, https://give.metrocaring.org
Smile Train, donate.smiletrain.org
Earth Justice, https://earthjustice.org/give/tribute-memorial
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