Ronnie Byers Eldridge
December 12th, 2021, Ronnie Byers Eldridge went to his eternal home in heaven at the age of 34. Described by Teke as “good at everything” he was a gifted horseman, avid outdoorsmen and a true cowboy. He lived his life as a loving father, devoted husband, and great friend. Ronnie’s memory will be cherished by everyone who was given the chance to know and love him.
Ronnie was born on October 30th, 1987, to Grady Le and Melanie Eldridge in Ruidoso, NM. Melanie recalls that Ronnie was a gentle and happy child. As the first born so often is, Ronnie had an old soul from the time he was very young. After the passing of his father, he became a man much younger than most. He was a devoted and caring son to Melanie and a father-like older brother. However, his serious and consciousness spirit never stopped him from being ornery, passionate, and full of life. His childhood was spent going on all kinds of adventures with Teke and Lee; most of which caused their mothers many grey hairs. Ornery, full of life, and eager to try new things were traits that Ronnie ever grew out of.
Ronnie grew up working cattle and ranching all around New Mexico. Whether he was working wheat cattle in House with his cousins, up long before daylight to beat the heat in Jal or working alongside his brother on their family ranch in Capitan, Ronnie spent most of his life horse back. He loved horses, ranching, and cattle and was proud of his ranching heritage.
When he was 16 years old, in the halls of Capitan High School, he saw Amber Yates for the first time. Amber tells the story as this- “Ronnie walked up to my locker and told me; I am going to marry you someday.” To which she laughed. He then went home and told his mother the same thing, who also laughed. However, on June 20, 2009, Ronnie and Amber were married, giving Ronnie the last laugh. Together they made a life that they loved. They worked and ranched. They filled their home with chickens, milk cows, hound dogs, and little girls. Ashlyn, Rori, Adeline and Reagan-Le were the true joy of Ronnie’s life. Spending time with his girls, all 5 of them, consumed Ronnie’s every day. Ronnie embraced being a “girl Dad”. Whether they were fishing, going to ballet recitals, hunting, or riding horses; he proudly took his girls everywhere. The relationship that Ronnie had with his wife and daughters was special and unique, and the love that he and Amber shared was one that most could only dream of.
Along with his family and ranching, Ronnie loved to be outdoors. He had a passion for fishing and hunting and spent his winters tracking lions with Kaydn Trailer and his summers on the lake fishing with his family. He happily brought anyone along with him, who wanted to go, and shared his love for the outdoors with others. His quality time with his girls often included quiet mornings on the ranch, setting trap lines and being together. Along with his wife and daughters, so many people who loved Ronnie will cherish the time spent together riding through the mountains, watching him climb a tree to chase a lion, or sitting on the lake soaking in the sunshine with him.
On October 29th, 2020, Ronnie collapsed in his home. After months of testing, no cause was ever found. However, it had a beautiful and profound effect on him. Amber says the last year of his life, he grew and pursued the Lord more earnestly than he ever had. He openly discussed his faith with his family and spent hours discussing God with his best friend Josh Gibson. He spent some of his last weeks on earth working through a Bible study with Ashlyn and on the last day he spent with Melanie, he sat in his recliner and read his Bible to her. God blessed their family as Ronnie became a spiritual leader of their home, and a true man of God.
On December 12th, 2021, Ronnie passed in his home, surrounded by his loving and doting family. He was preceded in death by his father, Grady Le Eldridge, his paternal grandparents Ronnie Eldridge and Janice Eldridge Herd and his maternal grandparents Bill and Susan Lee. He is survived by his wife Amber, 4 daughters Ashlyn, Rori, Adeline and Reagan-Le. Parents Tommy and Melanie Dinwiddie. Brother Grady Teke Eldridge and MaKayla Eldridge, niece and nephew Aubrey and Grady Eldridge. Stepsister Kyra Dinwiddie. Grandfather Barry Herd. Father and Mother-in-law Scott and Jill Yates. Brother-in-law Jacob Yates and his sister-in-law, Chambrie Yates. As well as numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Ronnie will be remembered for his happy nature, his inability to meet a stranger, and his love of people. Ronnie held cousins as close as siblings and friends were more like family. He shared his passions with everyone he met and his life left a lasting impact. And while Ronnie will leave many legacies; cowboy, hunter, husband, son, father, brother and friend, the most important legacy he leaves will be the legacy of loving the Lord. A legacy that we hope others will follow and continue.
His funeral service will Saturday, January 8, 2022 at 11:00 A.M. in the Gateway Church of Christ in Ruidoso with burial at the Eldridge Family Cemetery on the Eldridge Ranch.