William A. Bridge, 88, died Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, at MidMichigan Medical Center after a brief illness. Bill was born in Charlevoix, July 1, 1926, son of Clarence and Maude (Cable) Bridge. In 1929 he, his parents and brother Bob moved to Midland, where he attended school and graduated from Midland High in 1944.
He was inducted into the U.S. Navy
July 1, 1944, his eighteenth birthday. He served 26 months in the Navy V-12 program, attending the University of Notre Dame
, Indiana State University and the University of Illinois
. Bill completed the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois.
He was employed at The Dow Chemical Co. for 38 years, 33 years in the Saran Wrap production plant. Named on several patents as inventor or co-inventor, he retired in 1986 as Senior Technical Specialist.
On Aug. 13, 1955, he married Sylvia C. Bowes in Toledo, Ohio. Their great pride was in their children and grandchildren.
Bill was a member of Memorial Presbyterian Church since 1938. He served as a trustee for 12 years, elder and member of session for six years and clerk of session an additional ten years. He computerized and programmed (with his daughter Carol) the church tower bells, which now can play 160 hymn tunes.
Bill is survived by his wife, Sylvia, his brother, Dr. Robert G. Bridge; children, Carol and Richard Johnson, Rochester Hills, Thomas and Valerie Bridge, Midland, Nancy and Charles Crew, Raleigh, N.C., and Linda and Richard Walcutt, Columbus, Ohio; grandchildren, Tyler and Carl Johnson, Lauren and Michael Bridge, Caroline Crew and (Daniel) Roebuck, Melissa Crew, Kathryn Walcutt, Christopher (Sarah) Johnson and Nathan (Brandi) Johnson; great-grandchildren, Alexandria, Christopher, Isaac and Ivy Johnson.
Bill loved sports. He played on varsity teams of baseball and basketball in high school and baseball and football at Indiana State University. "I hope there really is reincarnation" he said. "I would love to be able to play basketball and baseball again."
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Aug. 9, 11 a.m., at Memorial Presbyterian Church, with Pastor Wallace H. Mayton III officiating. Bill's family will receive friends at the Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Home, 1200 West Wheeler Street, on Friday, from 4-7 p.m., and at the church Saturday morning, from 10 a.m. until time of the service. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Memorial Presbyterian Church or Habitat for Humanity.