DONALD ROSS  BRIDGES
DONALD ROSS  BRIDGES

Obituary of DONALD ROSS BRIDGES

Donald Ross Bridges

October 29, 1942 – September 23, 2017

Peacefully, with his family by his side, it is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Don Bridges on Saturday, September 23, 2017 at the age of 74.

Don will be remembered and sadly missed by his daughter, Donna (Lawrence) and grandsons, David (Nikita) and Mark (Jenny) and their father, Gary Dueck (Denise); his daughter, Kathy Wallmuth (Chris) and granddaughters, Jillian and Katelyn; his brother, Ron (Chris); his partner, Nancy and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.  He was predeceased by his first wife, Rose in 1994; his second wife, Sandy in 2016; his parents, Harry and Vivian; and his sister, Linda.

Don’s life was well lived with many chapters.

He was employed with MTS for 35 years, finished his career as Construction Manager, and enjoyed an early retirement in 1996.  Dad never sat idle, so it wasn’t long after retiring that he fulfilled his lifelong dream of owning a general store.  He obtained the permits, began construction, and the Grindstone General Store opened its doors in 1997, making it the first and only store in Grindstone Provincial Park.  It became the hub of the community and Dad became the “go to guy”.  It wasn’t long before Dad was dubbed the Mayor of Grindstone, a title that he took as a compliment and wore with pride.

Dad had many loves in his life.  He was married to his first wife, Rose for 32 years and became the proud father of two daughters Donna and Kathy.  They built a wonderful life together, as well as building the family cottage, which remains our most beloved gathering place.  He was married to his second wife, Sandy for 21 years. They built the Store together, loved to travel and lived life full of love and surrounded by family.  He spent the last few years with Nancy, adopting her love of bird-watching and nature.  Dad always said that he was the luckiest man to have been able to share his life with three wonderful women, but in reality, they were the lucky ones.

Dad travelled to Hawaii yearly for almost 35 years. He changed things up a few years ago and bought a trailer in Arizona, where he spent the last couple of winters.  He looked forward to his annual BOYS fishing weekend to Echo Lake, and cherished the trips even more when his two grandsons joined them.

Dad was a proud grandfather, and loved each one of his grandchildren equally and individually, making each one feel special in their own right.  He shared his wisdom, his mistakes and his sense of humour willingly, and was not beneath learning a lesson or two from them, whether it was business advice from David, pizza making tips from Mark, “pi-uter” advice from Jilly, or guitar lessons from Katie.  They gave him so much joy in his life, and there was nothing that he wouldn’t do for them.

He had many talents, and perhaps his most notable was woodworking or as he called it, “making dust”.  His passion for Intarsia was evident in each of the works of art that he created.  The intricacy and detail of his work reflected the patience and caring of the man himself.

Dad loved fishing, cooking, sharing a cool beverage and time with friends, and just living each day with optimism, always joking and never taking anything too seriously.  “It is what is!” was a line we all heard often, which would usually be accompanied by his thunderous resounding hard laugh. This too will never be forgotten. 

A celebration of Don’s life will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at Cropo Funeral Chapel, 1442 Main Street.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Don’s memory to CancerCare Manitoba.  Don’s family would also like to thank the Palliative Care Unit at Riverview Hospital for their care and support during this difficult time.

Dad made a mark on the lives of each person he met.  He left his impression on all of us.  He was proud of his family, and felt honoured to have his Grindstone Family.  Dad, we love you, and there won’t be a day that goes by that we don’t hear your laughter, feel your encouragement or quote one of your famous Dad”isms”.

“And a good time was had by all!”