Michael Scott Eldredge

1950 ~ 2021

Service:

Nov. 27, 2021
A Celebration of Life will be held from 3:00 - 5:00pm at The Chateau at The Rose Shop, 1910 East Dimple Dell Road (10600 South), Sandy, UT

“We have lift off!”

Michael Scott Eldredge, born July 28, 1950, made his final departure into the universe on October 26, 2021, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

To describe Dad and his life in a few paragraphs will never do him justice. He was a magnificent force of love, compassion, intelligence, talent, loyalty, humility, and friendship… the list goes on forever. He was an explorer, philosopher, historian, writer, musician, teacher, a veteran, but most of all a father and loving husband that made his children and family proud.

Dad had an insatiable appetite for learning, beginning at an early age. He was born into a family that participated wholeheartedly in the Boy Scouts of America. He and his two brothers earned their Eagle Scout awards at a young age.

Throughout his high school years, Dad played the drums, in band and orchestra, as well as being the drummer for a local high school band known as “The Exchequers”, and he treasured the experiences he was able to have with his band mates during those times. Some fifteen years later, when a client offered him a drum set as payment for legal work, Dad happily accepted, and our house became a bit louder with the sounds of drums and cymbals for several months.

After graduating high school, Dad attended Weber State University, becoming Senior Class Vice President, and receiving his B.A. degree in History / Political Science in 1971. Immediately afterwards, he enrolled at Utah State University and was able to earn his M.A. degree in Political Science with a certificate in International Relations just a year later.

After getting his Master’s at Utah State, Dad was commissioned into the United States Navy, serving in the Vietnam War aboard the USS San Bernardino, first as the Communications Officer, then as the Operations Officer. Upon returning to dry land, he taught Naval History at UCLA, where he was responsible for historical and political curriculum development in the NROTC program for over 54 colleges and universities in the United States.

In 1977, Dad resigned his commission in the Navy and returned to Utah with his family and enrolled at J. Reuben Clark Law School (Brigham Young University), receiving his Juris Doctorate in 1979. In 1978, he had the opportunity to spend a semester abroad at Queen’s College in Cambridge University in England, studying Jurisprudence, Legal History and Administrative Law. While in law school, he became the editor of the Clark Memorandum (semi-annual publication at BYU Law School) and the Journal of Legal Studies.

Dad loved practicing law and was one of the founding members of the original American Inns of Court in 1980. In addition to lawyering, Dad loved writing, penning articles for the Clark Memorandum, the Utah Historical Quarterly, and other publications. He loved being able to tell a story, whether relating it vocally or writing it down, he had a talent for getting you just as interested in his subject as he was.

Dad was also an avid reader, with shelves and shelves of books he had collected over the years, on just about every conceivable subject. His appetite for learning never diminished through his adult years. Dad was able to have many extraordinary experiences, visit many parts of the world and meet many amazing people throughout his life.

Dad spent many years working with the Boy Scouts of America, starting in his youth as a camp counselor at Camp Steiner in the Uinta Mountains, and continuing well into his adult life in both California and Utah, often taking his scouts on high adventure trips, such as climbing Mt. Whitney in California, or the Boundary Waters Canoe Base in Minnesota. Wherever there was an opportunity to experience something great, that would stay with his scouts for many years to come, Dad did his best to make it happen. Though he was a very busy man, Dad loved passing his knowledge and skills on to those young men in his scout troops, including all of his sons. In 1989, he received Scouting’s prestigious Silver Beaver Award. Throughout his life, Dad often reflected on his many experiences in Scouting, and the many great friends he had made during those times.

Dad loved his family and loved being a grandpa. Whether he was innately wise, or just shooting from the hip sometimes, he had a way of teaching his kids correct principles and letting us govern ourselves. Sometimes when we made mistakes, he would sit with us and talk about it, and more often than not, we learned from the experience and moved on. His way of trusting us to do the right thing in the right circumstance had a way of sticking with us well into our adult years.

In 2002, Dad was a volunteer in the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. This was an amazing experience for him, as he absolutely loved the Olympic games from the time he was a boy.

A year later, Dad suffered a significant stroke, which partially paralyzed him, and dramatically changed his lifestyle and the way he approached things. Though he was no longer able to drive, ski, play the drums or do many of the things he enjoyed doing so much, Dad continued to move forward to the best of his abilities. He wasn’t afraid of a challenge, and if he wanted something, he went for it. Dad went on to earn his Master’s Degree in History, write four novels, become the President of the League of Utah Writers, teach courses for the University of Phoenix. While Mom and Dad were raising their children, Dad was ordained to the office of High Priest in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day and later became a Freemason.

Dad had a marvelous sense of humor and loved to laugh. The amount of laughter we had in our family is unforgettable. He had the right words at the darkest times, and made us all believe that everything, in fact, would be alright. He had a passion for music, art, sports, the outdoors, the ocean, his country, the universe, his family, and everything in between that will be remembered forever.

Dad didn’t get around much during the pandemic, but he always enjoyed visiting with friends and family when they called or stopped by to say hi.

Dad suffered a major stroke on July 29th of this year, and though he worked hard to recover from it, the combined complications of Parkinson’s Disease, Covid-19 and a lingering infection took their toll, and he passed away peacefully in the late afternoon of October 26th.

Michael is survived by his brothers David (Connie) and Dan (Terry), his devoted and loving wife Michelle and eight children, Russ (Kimberly), Nathan (Marie), Crissy (Shane), Monica (Tony), Nichole (Steve), Joseph, Mike Jr. (Erin) and Sophia, and 17 grandchildren. Michael was preceded in death by his parents Wayne and Bonnie Eldredge, and his first wife, Mona Caldwell (mother to our children Russ, Nathan and Crissy).

Our family would like to thank all of the wonderful doctors and nurses, and especially the angelic aides who worked so hard and took such good care of Dad over the past several months – we are so grateful for all you have done, and for the kindness and care you have shown to Dad and our family during our struggles and times of difficulty.

Friends and family are invited to attend a Celebration of Michael’s life on Saturday, November 27th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, at The Chateau at The Rose Shop, 1910 East Dimple Dell Road, (10600 South), Sandy, UT.

Come ready to share a memory or two.


Guestbook/Condolences

I am so sorry for your loss! I love you all so big! please please let me or my family know if we can do anything!


- Brytan Cope

Wow! Mike's gone...
Can't put into words just how much he affected me, influenced me, and meant as a friend and fellow sojourner in this life. We met in law school, formed a study group that first year, and have remained steadfast friends ever since.
He was hilarious. And irreverent. And inspired others with that same spirit of mischief.
The obituary mentions the achievements, but misses some of the background that defined who Mike really was. He was indeed the editor in chief of the Clark Memorandum, but he was also a class representative for the 10th Circuit Student Bar Association that year. The BYU Student Bar group that went to Taos representing the law school overspent their budget, and Mike solved the problem by getting the Clark Memorandum printer to charge the law school for "costs" that in turn were diverted to pay a debt incurred at Taos. BYU's Student Bar Association President, Terry Turner was in on the conspiracy and diversion of misappropriated funds.
I was Mike's associate-editor. We only published one edition that year, and between several serious articles Mike wrote, we collaborated on several articles lampooning the law school social scene. All the lampooning articles were not shown to the faculty advisor, because Mike knew they would be censored. The finished product was handed out at graduation to prevent the faculty from doing anything. It has become a collectable edition, because even after all these years it remains an unapproved and quite irreverent publication.
There are a lot of such events in Mike's distinguished career. He had fun along the way.
Losing Mike is a terrible loss for us all. He had an infectious humor, thoughtful countenance, and attractive disposition. He cannot be replaced.
I will miss him sorely.


- Denver C. Snuffer

Mike was among the first friends I ever had, and his passing has left a void that will not be filled by another. But my life — as have so many others — has been greatly enriched and made more meaningful through that association. Our prayers are with the family of this wonderful man.


- Gordon Johnson