Memorial service for William “Bill” Robert Bridgens, 85, Lawrence will be held 11 a.m., Thursday, April 8, 2010, at Warren-McElwain Mortuary. He died April 5, 2010 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
He was born on June 11, 1924, in Kansas City, Kansas, the son of Elwin Haskell and Helen Getty Bridgens.
Bill Bridgens was a veteran of the US Navy and served during WWII and the Korean War. During WWII, he was a member of the 7th Beach Battalion that landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, on D-Day June 6, 1944.
On September 27, 1947, in Kansas City, Kansas, he married his junior high school sweetheart Dorothy Mae Dahlin. They were married 62 years until she died on July19, 2009.
Bill Bridgens is survived by two sons, Cris of Baldwin City, Kansas, and Gregg of Lawrence, Kansas; by six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren; and by his sister Sue Dengler of Overland Park, Kansas. He was preceded in death by his brother Dr. Jim Bridgens.
During his 85 years, Bill lived in a century of great change, both of wonder and horror. He grew up during the Great Depression and fought during WWII, but he also saw his country rise from her knees and become great through her hard work and joy of life. This shaped his personality, and it made him unafraid, appreciative, and prepared. He took up various hobbies when he wasn’t enjoying the peace of the Minnesota lakes: snowmobiling, flying lessons, accordion playing were but a few. The Information Age did not daunt him, and he took computer lessons. If something needed to be fixed, he always had a spare part. There was nothing, it seemed, that he could not solve, and in this his family always found great comfort.
The family will greet friends from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7, 2010, at the mortuary.
Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the American Cancer Society and may be sent in care of the mortuary.