On September 14, 2021, James Preston Aldridge, Jr, 79, (Preston to all those who knew him) crossed over from our world to the life ever after with his God and Savior in heaven. Preston lived his last moments exactly how he lived his entire life – to the fullest, in pursuit of self-improvement, and with this head held high looking towards what is to come.
Preston was born in Danville, Virginia on April 29th, 1942, the second of four and first boy to Luetta and James (Jim) Preston Aldridge, Sr. Some may say he had a rather typical childhood growing up in Yanceyville, North Carolina, playing baseball and eating homemade peach ice cream, but Preston’s life as an adult was nothing short of extraordinary.
After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in Chemistry, Preston began his career at Burlington Industries and married a force du jour, Marcia, who hailed from Philadelphia and had attended college at UNC Greensboro. They had both their children in Burlington and soon thereafter moved to Macon, GA where he lived until the day he died.
Through his passion for chemistry and love for building relationships, Preston was a trailblazer in the textile industry. While technically he sold machines that applied dye to fabric, extracted the excess water, and then prepared the finished goods, one could say what he really sold his customers was his word. Whenever Preston spoke, his colleagues could depend on him to be transparent, truthful, and kind. Even when he was delivering bad news or did not win the bid, he would end his conversation with a smile and a warm handshake.
Not surprisingly, the global nature of the textile industry afforded Preston the opportunities to travel around the world for trade shows and conferences: he regarded his experiences in Spain, France, Italy, Amsterdam, and Sweden among his favorites. But his other passion was his ministry to God and within the Episcopal Church and in that respect, he would likely tell you his favorite international destination was Haiti. There, just like everywhere else he goes, he poured himself into the mission of building a secondary education program at St. Marc’s Episcopal School in Trouin, Haiti. He, of course, was not alone in his mission; he and fellow parishioners formed Haitian Hope to support funding efforts for all school uniforms, books, and teacher’s salaries as well as a full-scale school lunch program.
He is survived by countless family and friends who love him and now have the challenging task of figuring out how to fill the shoes he wore while he was here. As his friends are too numerous to list, the surviving family members include: his younger brother, Carroll Aldridge, and sister, Peggy Aldridge; his wife, Marcia, and children, Thomas (and Rita) Aldridge, and Libby Motto; his amazing grandchildren, Olivia Aldridge, Preston Aldridge, and Sara Motto.
A service will be held on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at 2:00pm, followed by a reception, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Macon, GA. Flowers will be accepted by Hart’s Mortuary with the designation for “Preston Aldridge.” A short alternative service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at Healey Point Golf Course, River North. If you would prefer to make a donation, please visit https://www.christchurchmacon.com/give/ and select Haitian Hope Donation from the dropdown box under the label “Fund.”
Hart’s at the Cupola, Hart's Mortuary and Cremation Center, 6324 Peake Rd, Macon, GA 31210 has charge of the arrangements.
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Haitian Hope Donations