James Smith Eudy, 91, of Alexandria, Virginia passed away on Friday,July 7,2017 at his home. He was born in Lake Worth, Florida on September 30, 1925 to Troy and Emma Eudy. He was the second son of four children, John,Richard and Joann. His brothers John and Richard preceded him in death. Jim's father moved the family to Durham, NC for job opportunities in home construction. Shortly thereafter, war came, and his father moved to Alexandria to work at the Torpedo Factory and developed several patents. The family stayed behind in Durham. At 17,despite battling asthma, Jim lied about his age and joined the Navy. During the war, he served on a submarine tendor in the South Pacific. He was honorably discharged and came to Alexandria. He started working at Memsco where he learned the trade of welding. Jim met the love of his life, Ruby Ellen Jessup, while she was working for her sister, Inez Wray, and brother in law,Tommy Wray, at their grocery store on Duke Street. The story is Jim was so smitten by Ruby that he asked her to marry him that day. It took several tries, but he finally won her over, and they were married on May 31, 1946 at The Downtown Baptist Church on Washington Street. They remained happily married
for over fifty years. Ruby quit her teaching job, and they decided to start their own business, James Steel Fabricators and Steel Construction.Jim was the first entrepreneur to bring cranes to this area, and his company thrived. One of his proudest accomplishments was winning the bids to do reconstructive work on The White House gates, The Truman Balcony and the US Capitol. During this time, they decided to open their hearts and home and adopted two daughters, Suzanne and Amy Jo. They built their home in Alexandria and moved into it with their daughters on November 22, 1963. They lived there for the rest of their lives.
Jim retired from his business in June of 1988. During retirement, he had more time to enjoy golf. He was so pleased to have had a hole in one on November 20, 2004 at Fairfax Country Club. As much as he loved golf, his passion was flying. He held both a commercial and private pilot's license and loved to fly his plane. He flew well into his early eightys.
Jim was very active in the Alexandria community. He was a member of the Board of Trustees for I nova Alexandria Hospital, the Eisenhower Partnership Group, The First Baptist Church, the Friendship Firehouse, and Belle Haven Country Club for over 34 years. He and his wife supported many charities in Alexandria and contributed to the Children's Home Society in Richmond where they adopted their oldest daughter from. Jim was truly a great man and will be missed by all who had the pleasure to know him. He is survived by a sister, Joann Duncan of Pinehurst, NC, his daughter, Suzanne Eudy Backus of Alexandria, VA, his daughter, Amy Jo Eudy Newell of Warrenton,VA and her husband, J.Patrick Newell, his grandchildren, Andrew James Redel, Jack Patrick Newell, Glenn Edward Backus, Jr.,Troy James Backus (Audrey Bly) and Frances Jessup Backus, sister in law Joanne Sullivan Davis(Richard's wife) whom he
enjoyed many lunches and rides with as well as many nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank Shermaine Frederick for caring for him for the last 6 years. She wasn't just his main caretaker, she was his best buddy. They formed a friendship that was amazing. Shermaine took exceptional care of him, went above and beyond for him and became part of our family.
Funeral services and interment are private.