He was born on September 18, 1929 in Milton, Kentucky. In 1944 he gave his life to Jesus and was baptized in Farmville, North Carolina. He knew his life’s calling was to serve the Lord through missions. He graduated from Furman University in South Carolina with a BA, continued his education at the Baptist Theological Seminary, in New Orleans with a Bachelor of Divinity and got a Masters in Theology from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He married Jo Ann Ferguson on July 1st, 1952. During his seminary studies, he pastored 2 different churches one in southern Louisiana and one in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Both Eldon and Jo Ann shared the same calling to serve as foreign missionaries. In June 1957 they were appointed by the International Mission Board, known then as the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. In August 1957, they began their 45 years as missionaries by going to a language school in Costa Rica to learn Spanish. They were trusting and faithful and went obediently with their 2 young daughters in tow, Leslie Fay had just turned 2 and Ruth ‘Sunny’ was 6 months old. On December 24th, 1958 they arrived in Mexico City with 3 daughters, Linda was just 6 weeks old! Their fourth and youngest daughter Martha was born in Mexico. They served as missionaries in Mexico until their retirement in 2002. During their 45 years as missionaries in Mexico, they shared their love for the Lord and were embraced by the Mexican nationals. They were truly loved and respected in Mexico and Eldon was considered not only their brother in Christ but their ‘Mexican brother’. Eldon played several vital roles in the Mexican Baptist Convention, was crucial in church planting, and worked closely with the Spanish Baptist Publishing house. He was the director of the Central Baptist Association and served as interim director of the Mexican Baptist Seminary. He also helped several Central American countries with their mission work. His work touched thousands and is dearly remembered in Mexico as ‘mi hermano en Cristo’.
Eldon joins his parents, George and Lucy Sturgeon, his brother Leon, daughter Leslie Fay, and grandson Shawn Brock in Heaven.
He is survived by his wife and best friend of over 70 years, Jo Ann, his 3 daughters: Ruth ‘Sunny’; Linda and her husband Antonio Vargas and their 2 children Ximena and Antonio; Martha and her husband Chris Mendenhall and their 2 children Joshua and Jacob and their 2 grandsons Wyatt and Sawyer; his sister Helen Tugwell and nieces and nephews.
During his last days, he said, ‘God has blessed me with a full and wonderful life that I shared with my beautiful wife!’
While this is the end of Eldon’s physical life on Earth, we must remember that it’s the beginning of an amazing eternal life in Heaven.