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Obituary: Virginia Sue Eldridge, Iowa City, Iowa

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Virginia Sue Eldridge, 78, died November 19, 2012, at the Mercy Hospice Care Unit in Iowa City, after stoically defying idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis for several years.

Sue was a literacy specialist and "sound code breaker" who dedicated her career to teaching the learning disabled. After earning a Master’s in Special Education, she taught at Southeast Junior High, Tipton Elementary, West Liberty Middle School, and also worked for the Women’s Athletic Department and Wendell Johnson Speech & Hearing Clinic at the University of Iowa. Most rewarding to her was the private tutoring she did after she retired. From first graders to adults, she was able to achieve results, often where others had given up.

Born in Kokomo, Indiana, in 1934, Sue was raised in Indianapolis and met her future husband, Robert Eldridge, in elementary school. They became high school sweethearts at Southport High School (Class of ’52). After marrying in 1955, they had three daughters: Diane Mattila of Iowa City, Brenda Eldridge of Lewis Center, OH, and Karen Eldridge (Tom Charlton) of Houston. The family moved to Iowa City in 1974.

She is also survived by her sister, Janet McCallie (Rev. James) of Nashville, IN, and brother, Paul Dyer of Franklin, NC, as well as two granddaughters, Amber Mattila and Jadyn Eldridge; and a one-month-old great-grandson, Raiden Henrichson-Mattila.

In recognition of her lifelong commitment to literacy, memorial donations may be made to the IC Public Library Foundation or to Iowa City Hospice, in lieu of flowers.

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