Dr. Thurman Eugene Aldridge, 77, son of Luther and Tennie (Ice) Aldridge, was born February 21, 1937 in Texas County, Missouri. He departed this life on February 23, 2014.
Thurman is survived by his wife Susan (Craig) Aldridge; two sons, Andrew and wife Valeska and Anson and wife Brandi; two grandchildren, Gwendolyn and Henry, all of Springfield, Missouri; one sister, Oneta Holloway; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents and siblings Juanita Irish, Herman Aldridge, Laveta Kelley and Martha Sue (infant).
Thurman accepted the Lord as his Savior at a young age at Grandview Baptist Church, Texas County, Missouri. He was a member of Liberty Baptist Church, Springfield. Before his devastating stroke, he taught Sunday school and was their pianist.
Thurman was a scholar and educator achieving his bachelor of science, master’s and doctorate in education. He attended one full year of college at Southwest Missouri State and taught his first year in a one-room country school at age 18. He continued his education with summer school and correspondence classes ending with his doctorate at Missouri University. He began his teaching career at Pleasant Grove and Pine Creek, then Plato and Summersville, retiring from Springfield Public Schools.
Thurman was a gifted and trained pianist. It is told he stood pumping the old family pump organ to play music by ear. At a young age, he had a few piano lessons and began playing for Grandview Baptist Church. He loved gospel music and was widely known for attending many singing conventions in his lifetime. As a young man he played for the Good News Quartet on a weekly spot at the Mountain Grove radio station, and many others including The Journeymen which included John Ashcroft and Max Bacon. Thurman owned and operated The Journeymen Gospel Sound Center, Springfield.
Thurman never met a stranger in his life; he was a friend to all. He cared deeply for all of his family. He will be remembered for his kind heart and good deeds. Sadly in June of 2003, he suffered a massive stroke leaving him with only the use of his right hand and arm. Susan retired from teaching and cared for him at home for several years until it became impossible to do so. At his death, he was a resident of Magnolia Square Nursing Facility.
Memorials may be made to Briar Street Baptist Building Fund, 1361 E Briar Street, Springfield, MO 65804, in his honor.
Visitation will be from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Thursday, February 27, 2014, at Evans Funeral Home, Houston, with services beginning at 2:00 p.m. with Rev. Lew Cort officiating. Burial is in Ozark Cemetery under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.