Pacific Science Association

Lu Eldredge, 1938 - 2013

LuEldredge

It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of Dr. Lucius (Lu) Eldredge, who died in Honolulu on 1 May 2013 after a short illness. Lu was the second Executive Secretary of the Pacific Science Association, serving in that position from 1989 to 2004.

The following is a remembrance of his life, written by his family:

Lucius Gilbert Eldredge III, was born in East Greenwich, Rhode Island and grew up on the family farm.  Lu, as he was known, met Joann Travell, the love of his life, in 1957 and they were married the following year.  Lu received his B.S. in zoology from the University of Rhode Island in 1959.  Lu and Jo set off to Hawaii for a grand adventure, where they had four daughters while he earned his Ph.D. in invertebrate zoology from the University of Hawaii in 1965. 

Lu was on faculty at the University of Guam from 1965 to 1987, among his roles serving as the Director of the Marine Laboratory from 1967-1971 and Interim Director of the Micronesian Area Research Center from 1982 – 1984.  He surveyed flora and fauna of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, and completed fieldwork throughout the Caroline, Marshall, Line, and Hawaiian Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Taiwan, Indonesia, and numerous other islands in the Pacific.  While on sabbatical in 1987, he earned his Master’s of Library Studies from University of Hawaii.  Following retirement from the University of Guam, he worked for the Regional Seas Directories and Bibliographies at the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, Italy.

Lu took up residence at the Bishop Museum in 1989 for his position as the Executive Secretary of the Pacific Science Association (PSA).  Following his resignation from PSA in 2004, he continued his work on the impact of invasive species, and served on the Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative and the Federal Invasive Species Advisory Council.  He was a founding member of the Hawaii Bishop Research Institute and was appointed as its Executive Secretary in 1990, a position he kept until his death.

He retired from the Museum in 2012 but continued to work on keeping files of every publication known on the fauna of Pacific Islands and co-edited the annual Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey (a record of all native and introduced species to the Hawaiian islands) since its founding in 1992.  He was world renowned for his investigations of introduced (non-native) animals in the Pacific islands, where they came from, when, and their current status. Throughout his career Lu mentored young scientists, consulted with government agencies and published extensively.

Lu was loving father, whose daughters could swim before they could walk and learned from him to appreciate the beauty and diversity in the world.  He was a gourmet chef and gracious host, and his house was a gathering place for celebrations small and large.  He had a generous and optimistic spirit, a sympathetic ear, and a big heart.

Lu was preceded in death by Jo, his wife for 52 years, and Emelyn, his daughter.  He is survived by daughters Sarah Partain, Deborah Eldredge, and Rebecca Eldredge; grandchildren Kay and Jeff and sisters Charlotte Blaine and Harriet Brisson.

His family and friends were saddened by Lu’s sudden illness and passing, but are bolstered by his many friends who have shared stories about his adventures. A Celebration of Life service was held for Lu Eldredge at 5:00pm on Saturday, May 18 at the Bishop Museum.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Bishop Museum, earmarked for the Hawaii Biological Survey, and mailed to the Hawaii Biological Survey at 1525 Bernice St, Honolulu, HI  96817-2704.

Update 3 December 2014:

Lu Eldredge was well-loved by his family, friends, and professional colleagues. In his honor, two of his closest colleagues, Dr. Neal Evenhuis and Dr. Jim Carlton, are producing a Memorial volume to Dr. Eldredge that will to be published in Bishop Museum Bulletin in Zoology. Some of the first completed articles have already been published online, as well as a biography and bibliography of Dr. Eldredge and his work. Many of the articles include new species that are named in honor of Lu. The table of contents for the volume is here. The printed volume will be published in early 2016.