James Robert Eskridge, 85, of Franklin Furnace, Ohio passed away Thursday, April 9, 2020 at his home surrounded by his family, friends and caregivers. James was born January 14, 1935 to the late Claude and Augusta (Klaber) Eskridge in Menifee County, Kentucky. Early in his work career, James worked at Marion Power Shovel in Ironton, Ohio. While there, he was most proud to have been the lead fabricator/welder on the transporter for NASA’s Saturn 5 rocket for the Apollo missions. That transporter is still in use today. Later, James was a Welder and Process Operator at the Uranium Enrichment Plant in Piketon, Ohio where he retired from in 1999. James was a member of the Steelworkers Union Local #1-689; Plumbers & Pipefitters Union Local #521; Operating Engineers Union Local #18 and a longtime member of Western Sun Masonic Lodge #91 in Wheelersburg, Ohio. James was proud of his community where he was one of the founding members of the Green Township Volunteer Fire Department. James was a veteran and served in the United States Navy. He was of Baptist faith and a member of the Jeanette’s Creek Christian Baptist Church. James was preceded in death by his wife and high school sweetheart of 62 years, the late Shirley Mabel (Ison) Eskridge, whom he married on June 4, 1955 in Powellsville, Ohio. He was also preceded in death by eldest son, Gregory James Eskridge, a son-in-law, Joseph C. Parker, a brother, Jacob Liebren Eskridge and his parents Claude and Augusta Eskridge. He is survived by his son, Glenn Robert (Donita) Eskridge; a daughter, Cynthia Mae and Kevin Gilbride; two grandsons, Nicholas (Tomi) Eskridge of Wheelersburg, Ohio and Luke Eskridge of Franklin Furnace, Ohio. He is also survived by two lovely great granddaughters, Natalee Rae and ArleeAnn Eskridge of Wheelersburg, Ohio; a brother, John (Ann) Eskridge of Moores Hill, Indiana and a sister, Norma Jean (and the late Ralph) Ishmael of Goldwaithe, Texas. Also surviving is his brothers and sisters-in-law, Ralph (Lois) Ison of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Alton (Patricia) Ison of Batavia, Ohio along with many nephews, nieces and caregivers.
Due to the Coronavirus, services are at the convenience of the family with interment in Junior Furnace Cemetery in Franklin Furnace. Harrison-Pyles Funeral Home in Wheelersburg has been entrusted with the arrangements. Condolences to the family may be made at www.harrison-pyles.com.