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IN CELEBRATION OF A LIFE WELL LIVED
Policing came early with enthusiasm to Ronald D. Bridges in Fresno, beginning with volunteer work as a 12-year-old Turner Elementary School crossing guard, said his brother, Capt. Dennis Bridges of the Fresno Police Department.
Law enforcement was a shared family value, said Mr. Bridges' son, Matt.
Mr. Bridges, 51, who was serving in his 23rd year with the Fresno Police Department, died suddenly and peacefully June 25 in his home, Matt Bridges said.
He was born in Tulsa, Okla., and moved as a baby to Fresno. He graduated from McLane High School, then attended Fresno City College. Dennis Bridges recalled his older brother serving as an Explorer Scout at McLane.
Mr. Bridges knew already that he wanted a law enforcement career, and it was work he always enjoyed.
"My gosh, yes," Matt Bridges said. "His work was his life, all his life."
Mr. Bridges worked briefly with the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department, but returned as he had intended to Fresno to work in its Police Department in 1986.
His mother, Louise, had worked there in the 1960s, and his father, Elvin, had made it his practice to keep a home scanner tuned to any police action.
Dennis Bridges rose to captain, but Mr. Bridges preferred work on the beat.
"He chose not to move up the ranks," said his wife, Laurie. "He just had a passion. He worked the Tower District, and merchants knew him by name."
And he them.
Mr. Bridges was named Fresno Police Officers Association Officer of the Year in 2004. He was a favorite of colleagues who dubbed him "Worker Bee."
Away from his beat, Mr. Bridges enjoyed going to casinos with his wife, and he would tell her, "We do better together."
He loved country music: Johnny Cash, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Charley Pride, Loretta Lynn, vinyl records better than CDs and the original country better than glitzier newcomers.
Laurie Bridges said the family never knew how any day's work had gone, good or bad, on her husband's shift.
"He would walk in the door, feed the dog a treat and give me a kiss," she said.
In that order, and that was fine.
From the Fresno Bee written by writer Jim Steinberg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfQrQkt7jXQ I hope that Captain Dennis Bridges and the family of Officer Ronald Bridges will not think me rude with the choice of this tune. It is how I feel about this copper.
Lee Brand rang me up and told of the notice in the newspaper about the death of this copper. Having written about a officer bridges, Lee was not sure if this was the one MOI knew. MOI does not read death notices in the local newspaper. Old geezer MOI may be, but the early days of the AIDS plague in San Francisco and attending over 50 services in less that 18 months, got me off of attending services.
Having met Captain Dennis Bridges, have no doubt that his brother must have been just like him. Public service runs in the family. It will be my loss that Officer Ronald Bridges and MOI never met. He did serve the Central Police District, and as such was responsible for serving and protecting my road and my neighbors.
Jeff Saylor took MOI to San Francisco Floral. Connie, the lovely florist there, understood my request for a tribute and took the particulars and told MOI to return in half an hour. When MOI returned, Connie has done herself right proud. The arrangement was massive, with bright and cheerful flowers. She had placed small American Flags in it and added the ribbon requested. 'IN CELEBRATION OF A LIFE WELL LIVED'.
We drove to the station house and were met by Officer Weigant. It was a sad visit and one could sense the loss felt by officer Weigant and the secretary there. There was another officer there and did not catch her name. MOI just wanted the coppers to know that Officer Ronald Bridges will be missed and let them know that my road and community will always make the lives of coppers.
A card was left with the tribute and told of the sense of loss from Dave and Dottie Natal and Lee Brand along with MOI. MOI is having a Mass said for Officer Ronald Bridges.