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Joseph Leo Bridges
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Birth: Oct. 31, 1919
Valley County
Nebraska, USA
Death: Jan. 21, 2012
Washington County
Oregon, USA

Joseph L. Bridges age 92 of Dilley died Jan. 21 at Tuality Hospital in Hillsboro. He was born Oct. 31, 1919 in Arcadia, Neb. to Iven and Virginia (Welty) Bridges. Also in the family was his brother, Robert Bridges and sister, Myrtle Thrush. The family moved to Multnomah City in 1934 after Joseph finished the eighth grade. In 1935, he moved to Gaston and worked picking fruits and vegetables for R. J. Bates Feed & Grain.

Joseph joined the Army Air Corps in 1942 and graduated as a pilot from West Coast Training Command Class 43C on March 10, 1942. He went to B-25 Transitional School in Sacramento, Calif., First Phase Training of B-25 in Greenville, S.C. and B-17 training at Lockburn Field, Ohio. He transferred to Boise, Idaho for B-24 training and completed three phases then was shipped overseas to combat in April 1944. Joseph was assigned to the 72nd Squadron of the 5th Bomb Group of the 13th Air Force flying combat missions from Guadacanal and other bases including Samar, Philippines. He completed 40 combat missions. He opted to stay in Samar, Philippines flying C-47 transport among various assignments before returning stateside. He received seven Oak Leaf Cluster Air Medals and various theater ribbons. Entering as a buck private, he resigned with the rank of Major. He returned stateside on VE Day in 1945 and was relieved of duty in November, 1945.

After returning home, he helped his mother raise turkeys. On Sept. 2, 1946 he married Helen VanDyke. They lived in Forest Grove until the completion of their house in Dilley where Joseph lived until his death. He worked for 17 years for Harold VanDyke in the clover seed plant. Then he managed the Frank VanDyke and Sons Grain Mill for 17 years before retiring. Joseph farmed his own acreage in the summertime raising beans, strawberries, corn, yellow crookneck squash, broccoli, cauliflowers and green beans. He made the 5 Ton Club for strawberries for multiple years. He served on the Dilley School Board for 13 years in all capacities. In May of 1996, Joseph received The Edward H. Stoll Award from the National Weather Service commemorating 50 years as a weather observer. He measured the rain daily for 65 years, reporting the results to the National Weather Service. Joseph was fond of all animals and loved to play cribbage. Always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need.

Joseph was preceded in death by his wife, Helen in 2002; his daughter, Joyce, in 1994; his brother, Robert, in 1998; his sister, Myrtle, in 1991; and by his parents. Survivors include son, Ken Bridges and wife, Janet; daughter, Donna DuPont and husband, Jim; son, Jerry Bridges and wife, Linda; son-in-law, Tom Harpole; two grandchildren, Michelle Roppe and Jessica Harpole; and one great-grandchild, Jadin Roppe.

Funeral will be at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at Donelson-Fir Lawn Memorial Center Chapel in Hillsboro. Mausoleum entombment with Military Honors will follow the funeral at Mountain View Cemetery in Forest Grove. Viewing at the funeral home will be on Tuesday from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Oregon Humane Society.

Published in The Oregonian on January 24, 2012 
Family links: 
  Iven Cleveland Bridges (1892 - 1945)
  Virginia Naomi Welty Bridges (1896 - 2000)
  Helen Marie Van Dyke Bridges (1919 - 2002)
  Joseph Leo Bridges (1919 - 2012)
  Robert Bruce Bridges (1925 - 1998)*
*Calculated relationship
Mountain View Memorial Gardens
Forest Grove
Washington County
Oregon, USA
Created by: Quack_Quack
Record added: Jan 24, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 83959043
Joseph Leo Bridges
Added by: Quack_Quack
Joseph Leo Bridges
Added by: George Waldron
Joseph Leo Bridges
Added by: George Waldron
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Rest in Peace Joseph Bridges
- Quack_Quack
 Added: Jan. 24, 2012

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