William R. Bridgeman
June 21, 1941 - August 9, 2014
William "Bill" Bridgeman, 73, passed away peacefully on August 9. Bill was born in Washington, DC on June 21, 1941. A 1959 graduate of St. John's College High School Military Prep, he was a catcher for the Washington Senators professional baseball team for one year before joining the Army.
Bill's military career began with three years in Germany where he met Terrie, his wife of 50 years. He attended George Washington University and the University of Maryland in a pre-med program before the aviation bug caught up with him. The Bridgemans moved to California where Bill completed his aviation qualifications at Northrup University. His love of helicopters led them to Boise, Idaho and the Idaho Army National Guard as an aircraft and quality control technician. After almost five years in Idaho, he and Terrie went to Isfahan, Iran with their three young boys, where Bill worked for Bell Helicopter International for 18 months as an aircraft quality control supervisor. They then settled in Oregon where he completed his college degree at Linfield College while continuing his military career with the Oregon Army National Guard as an aircraft quality control inspector and first sergeant. He was highly respected for his experience, professionalism, and exemplary work ethic.
Bill loved children, dogs, and baseball, and coached for Parrish Little League for 13 years. The loves of his life were his family, especially his nine grandchildren. He never hesitated to throw a ball, read a book, jump in a swimming pool, or play in the sandbox with them, and they all have fond memories of good times, donuts, and ice cream with "Papa."
He and Terrie traveled the world in their retirement, visiting Italy, France, Alaska, England, Belgium, Germany, Mexico, Hawaii, and many other US states.
Bill is survived by his loving wife Terrie, sons Bill (Lori), Joe (DeOna), and Tim (Raegen), nine grandchildren, three brothers, and two sisters. Military honors will be at Willamette National Cemetery Friday, August 15 at 9 am. A memorial mass will be held at Queen of Peace Catholic Church on Saturday, August 16 at 11am, followed by a reception. Bill was a dedicated blood donor. In honor of him, please consider donating the gift of life.
Crown Memorial Center - Salem
412 Lancaster Drive NE
Salem, OR 97301
Published in StatesmanJournal on Aug. 14, 2014