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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ray Charles Bridge just shy of his 94th birthday. Ray had a bigger than life personality grounded by his strength, leadership, and never-ending loyalty to his country, his wife, and his family. During his years on this earth, he served a distinguished naval career, taught welding to those who wanted to learn, was a mentor to those who needed help, a Sheetmetal Worker, horse rancher, father, grandfather, friend, and neighbor and will be missed by all who knew him.

Ray Charles Bridge was born in Armour to James and Phyllis Bridge, the seventh son of eleven children. In 1947 after graduation from high school, Ray enlisted in the U. S. Navy and served at many significant duty stations, on multiple naval ships, and completed three tours of Vietnam. During his twenty years in the Navy he received numerous awards, citations, and commendations for his achievements including the Secretary of Navy Personal Commendation, five Navy Good Conduct Medals, China Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, and United Nations Service Medal.

Ray retired in 1966 as USN Chief Shipfitter and put his skills to work at National Steel before joining Sheetmetal Workers Local 206 where he worked at many San Diego companies including University Mechanical, Jackson & Blanc, and retired from A. O. Reed & Company. Shortly before retirement he and his wife Lorraine purchased a horse ranch in Bonita, California where they boarded and cared for more than a dozen horses, delivered, and sold alfalfa hay throughout South Bay and East County, and made a home for various farm animals including baby goats, chickens, ducks, cats, dogs, a pig, a cow, peacocks, rabbits and more. After 20 years of ranching, they sold the ranch and retired to a beautiful home in Jamul with their four dogs.

Ray is survived by his wife of 60 years Lorraine Bridge, daughter Margot and her husband Paul Dollard, his brother Lee Bridge (Wagner), numerous Bridge descendant nieces and nephews, granddaughters Jamie Bullard and Melissa Link. Great grandchildren Miranda and her husband Danny Robinson, Felisia, Jason, and Matthew Bullard. He is preceded in death by his parents, sisters Louise, Ruby, Bernice, and Marjorie; his brothers Joseph, Wayne, Clifford, Alvin, and Darold and recently his son Bruce Link.

The Bridge family appreciates all who provided excellent medical care and assistance during Ray’s final years specifically Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) and Bridge Hospice San Diego. The doctors, nurses, medical assistants, and technicians provided great comfort and care to Ray and listened as he shared his numerous Navy memories.