February 21, 1940 - November 16, 2020
Richard Allen Bridges
Feb. 21, 1940 – Nov. 16, 2020
Dick Bridges, beloved father, grandfather, and brother, died from severe congestive heart failure 16 Nov. in Portland, OR. He is survived by his son Phillip, daughter Catherine O’Dowd, grandson David O’Dowd, siblings Bill, John and Tom Bridges, and Ruth Iversen.
Dick was born in Seattle, WA. He was the third son born to Harriet and William Bridges. The family moved to Portland, OR after WW II ended.
Airplanes and flight always were fascinating to Dick! He flew solo on his 16th birthday, earning flying lessons by washing planes at a small private airfield in Portland. Dick served in the Air Force during the Cuban Missile Crisis. His journey next took him to Portland State University, where he earned a math degree with the aid of the GI bill. He was recruited by Idaho Nuclear Corporation and relocated to Idaho Falls. He met a petite, “raven haired beauty” at the site and married Judy Lynn Dowd in Jan. 1969. Dick said it was love at first sight! They both loved the pristine beauty and diverse landscapes of Idaho and raised Phillip and Catherine there. They celebrated 50 years of marriage before Judy passed away on Jan. 11, 2020.
Dick first taught at Idaho State University in the electronics department from 1970-1975. He worked 14 years with the Union Pacific Railroad and then returned to teaching. He spent 17 years instructing applied physics, algebra, basic math and study skills at the ISU College of Technology. He retired as a Master Instructor. Dick had mathematics and physics degrees with minors in geology and electrical engineering. When asked what the best part of teaching was, he said “Students coming back and saying I helped them.”
Intellectually curious his entire life, Dick loved rock hunting, gardening, cooking and reading. He panned for gold in Alaska, mined sapphires from Idaho and collected jade from California. Dick enjoyed crafting jewelry using his rock hunting finds. Dick never got rich, but the women in the family all have a precious, handmade piece Dick lovingly fashioned. His “Pop’s Pickles” and special recipe spiced plums were always appreciated at dinners with extended family. Dick’s last project was planting crocuses to harvest saffron! Rest in Peace, Dickie.