Fred C. Aldridge Jr., 85, of Haverford, a Philadelphia lawyer, business leader, and civic volunteer, died Wednesday, Sept. 5, of an infection at Bryn Mawr Hospital.
Mr. Aldridge practiced law for 48 years, 38 of them with the Center City law firm of Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, now called Stradley Ronon. He joined the firm in 1959 as a securities litigator and changed his specialty to corporate law.
He rose to become the firm's managing partner and chair of its executive committee before stepping down from leadership roles in 1988. He left the firm in 1997, and from 1998 to 2007 he maintained a solo practice in Devon.
William R. Sasso, Stradley Ronon's managing partner, said Mr. Aldridge was a "terrific" lawyer and a great mentor. "He trained many of the men and women who lead our firm today. We all prospered and learned under his leadership," Sasso said.
Born in Bryn Mawr to Fred and Cornelia Aldridge, Mr. Aldridge grew up in Wayne. He graduated from Episcopal Academy in 1951. In 1955, he earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Duke University. He completed a law degree in 1958 at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Joseph A. Damico Jr., a lawyer in Media, said he met Mr. Aldridge their first year at Penn and the two became close friends. "He had a grand sense of fairness, honesty, and ethics that he carried with him in anything he did, whether it was sporting activities, or golf, or sailing. He was a grand human being," Damico said.
During his law school years, Mr. Aldridge worked as a project engineer for the Pennsylvania Department of Highways and began seven years of service in the Army National Guard.
While still in law school, he met Alexandra "Alexa" Quandt, an undergraduate at Bryn Mawr College. They married in 1957.
Mr. Aldridge served on the board of directors of the Tasty Baking Co. from 1981 to 2005. He was on the firm's executive committee and chairman of its nominating and corporate governance committees. He was also a board member and an executive committee member for the PrimeSource Corp.and IA Construction Co.
Throughout his life, Mr. Aldridge committed time and energy to community causes. For 30 years, he served as director, president, and treasurer of the Nelson Foundation in Radnor. The nonprofit established by Grace S. and Rear Adm. W. Linton Nelson supports programs providing direct services to children and youth in the Philadelphia area.
He was active with the Boy Scouts of America as vice president of finance and a member of the executive committee and executive board of the Cradle of Liberty Council.
Mr. Aldridge served on the executive board of the Police Athletic League and was a trustee of Episcopal Academy from 1991 to 2003. He also chaired the government affairs group of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and served on its executive board from 1983 to 1995.
A competitive bridge player, and avid golfer, fly fisherman, hunter, sailor, and pilot, Mr. Aldridge loved sharing sports and the outdoors with friends and family.
Jay Howson Jr., a longtime friend who played many rounds of golf with Mr. Aldridge at St. Davids Golf Club in Wayne, said Mr. Aldridge was intelligent, thorough, and meticulous.
"He really thought and planned things through and came to the right decisions," Howson said. "He was very caring and a little bit stubborn and opinionated, but a very good listener. And he was a good adviser in a personal sort of way."
His son, Richard, said Mr. Aldridge was a great father.
"He had high expectations and he was nonetheless very supportive," his son said. "He involved me as his son in everything. We hunted and fished together."
In addition to his wife, Alexandra, and son, Richard, he is survived by a daughter, Mindy, and five grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 230 Pennswood Rd., Bryn Mawr. Burial will be private.