James Thomas “Tommy” Ethridge, Jr., husband of Laurie Campbell Ethridge, died from cancer Monday, June 3, 2019.
He was born in Greenville on July 16, 1948 and was the son of Eleanor Mackey Ethridge and James Thomas Ethridge.
Tommy attended Greenville High School, class of ’66, and was a proud graduate of The Citadel. His career in engineering led him to many interesting projects and experiences. Projects included paper mills, pharmaceutical companies, even a gold mine in the Andes Mountains. His favorite assignment by far was the year he spent in Australia. His career also led to the opportunity to eat raccoon with one of the men that worked at Ethridge Construction Company.
In addition to his wife, Tommy is survived by his four children, Adrian Ethridge Moore, Jessica Ethridge, Kathryn Ethridge, and Trip Ethridge. He was so proud of all four of them, well at least three. He is also survived by his brother Alan Mackey Ethridge (whose behavior and attire made Tommy constantly shake his head), his sister-in-law Dr. Debbie Campbell Price, a constant source of support during Tommy’s illness, brother-in-law Sam Campbell, and his father-in-law Raymond Campbell, who often was his partner in crime.
Tommy enjoyed being involved in his children’s activities, and managed to put in many volunteer hours, despite his travels. There was a year that he would drive straight from the airport to Sara Collins Elementary School to make copies on the purple mimeograph machine. He worked the press box at Greenville Little League with Dr. John Vann. In addition to their sports commentary, they would try to pressure the opposing team to buy raffle tickets for the chance to win a Betty Boop clock or an inflatable deer head suitable for mounting. Thank goodness nobody ever won, as neither John nor Tommy had these items. Interestingly, Tommy seemed to always be out of town on Thursdays during the summer. Could Gower swim meets have anything to do with that?
One of Tommy’s proudest community accomplishments was beating Billy Goldsmith in the “Little Miss Parkins Lake” pageant: proof that black velvet trumps pink polyester anytime.
Tommy hated to get dressed and go to weddings and funerals. He used to hate weddings the most, but may have recently changed his mind. Being the friend that he is, he wanted to spare folks the pain of dressing up and sitting through a service, so a private memorial was held Tuesday, June 4, 2019. Tommy and his mother-in-law, Shirley Campbell, had a friendly competition. They both are, or will be, in the garth at the Church of The Redeemer. Tommy agreed to that arrangement, as long as he wasn’t buried beside her. Of course, Shirley had to outdo Tommy and beat him there.
In addition to Adrian, Jessica, Kathryn, and Trip, Tommy became a father late in life to his favorite child, “Stinky,” his Chihuahua. He would take “Stinky Spins” every day just so Stinky could see all those poor little doggies that have to walk on a leash while he rides in his car. Any money that you may have saved from not going to the barber or dry cleaners would certainly be welcomed at Greenville County Animal Care, 328 Furman Hall Rd. Greenville, SC 29609. Better yet, make your life as happy as Tommy’s and go by there and adopt a Chihuahua. They have plenty!
Thomas McAfee Funeral Home, Downtown.
Greenville County Animal Care
328 Furman Hall Rd., Greenville SC 29609