Gerald Lee Bridenbaugh
September 1, 1930 - March 25, 2014
Gerald Lee "Jerry" Bridenbaugh, of Grand Junction, Colorado passed away peacefully, Tuesday, March 25, 2014, at home at the age of 83. He was with his wife at the time of his death.
Born on September 1st, 1930, in Dayton, Ohio to W. Arthur and Mildred Mary Bridenbaugh, he grew up learning to love fishing and playing basebal, so much so, that he later nearly made the Washington Senators Baseball team, an accomplishment of which he was particularly proud.
Instead, the call to serve came to Jerry. He joined the United States Navy
and served for four years on the USS Boxer and the Valley Forge during the Korean War
, where he was an aerial photographer. Jerry received many medals for his service.
Jerry's call to serve continued on for the rest of his life, and resonates in his children and grandchildren. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and a member of the bishopric for years. He also was on the Ramona, California American Red Cross REACT Team, for years. He was a first responder coordinator/team leader for any disaster, including several California wildfires. Jerry served as a "Police Officer Special" in Arizona, and he was a Security Officer in California and Colorado, proudly protecting and serving many.
On November 21, 1970, Jerry married Phyllis Blanche Wilowski. They created countless memories together traveling the country and camping with their children. They were married for 43 years.
Jerry loved watching baseball, playing pool with his buddies, and fishing. It has been said that Jerry was the best fisherman ever. Surely anyone who had the pleasure of fishing with him would easily agree. He could play Solitaire and checkers with his grandchildren for hours. He always could be heard singing western songs and sometimes he even made up his own. He loved taking care of and spending time with his grandchildren. He taught them a life-long love of beef jerky and peanut butter.
The legacy of love and altruism Jerry leaves behind will live on for generations to come and he will truly be missed by his wife, Phyllis Blanche Bridenbaugh; his children, Jeff Bridenbaugh (Carmen), Lorrie Canaris (Alex), David Bridenbaugh (Kari), and Pamela Wilson; his grandchildren, Eric, Jason, Timothy, Michael, Katelyn and Julia; as well as his dear family and friends.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 29, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Fruita, Colorado. There will be a military ceremony at graveside, in the week to come, at Veteran's Memorial Cemetery.