Kenneth Alfred Bridge, Sr, age 88 of Stamford, CT passed away peacefully on January 17th, 2021. He was born in Stamford on March 16, 1932 to the late Ralph Webster Bridge and Pearl Ethyln (Troost) Bridge.
Family - Ken was pre-deceased by his ex-wife RoseMarie (Pennella) Bridge and his brother Ralph Edward Bridge. He is survived by his half-sister, Linda Kay Taylor Sullaway. He is survived by his loving children and their spouses: RoseAnne Lee Bridge-Homola (Thomas Edward Homola), Kenneth A. Bridge II (Lisa Zablotny Bridge), and Ralph Joseph Bridge. He is survived by his loving grandchildren Julianne Frances Homola, Thomas Everett Homola, Elizabeth Ann Michel Homola, Kenneth (Trey) A. Bridge III, Sydney Marlene Bridge.
Education / Military Service - Ken attended Stamford Elementary School, Greenwich High School, Vale Technical Institute (PA), UConn Storrs (CT) and numerous courses in the trades, law and banking career fields. He volunteered military service in the US Air Force for four years during the Korean conflict (1951-1955). Much of his military career was spent out west in California, Nevada, Utah and Texas. He had the best Air Force stories from San Antonio, Bakersfield, CA and Edwards Air Force Base and yes –he rode his cool car and motorcycle on Route 66! After his military career was finished, he then attended the University of Connecticut 1955-1960 at both Stamford High School Branch and Storrs Campus.
Career - He was a long-time auto mechanic and machinist in Palmdale, CA and Stamford, and Greenwich at dealerships and private garages. He owned and operated a small flooring company as a side business. He worked at a bank computer center after college doing numerous company payrolls and trust work for other banks and businesses. Ken spent twenty-one years at Electrolux doing cost accounting; and also served as their Credit Union Vice President and Director. After his retirement from Electrolux, he started and ran a successful landscaping business for over 10 years with a good friend and partner in New York.
Hobbies and Passions - Ken was extremely talented with his hands, able to create and fix anything and work with any materials, using his analytical and engineering intelligence. He customized and highly modified two cars and raced them at tracks in CT /NY: a 1948 Plymouth Coupe in California and later a 1955 Ford Fairlane. He also enjoyed participating with his good friends in several Car Rally’s throughout New England. He was very proud of the fine performance of his custom cars – they did the quarter mile in eight seconds on gas alone.
He spent several influential years as a young foster child, living on a working farm in North Stamford. He and his brother lived a quintessential ‘farm boy’ life including hunting, fishing, caring for a horse and raising cows, pigs and chickens and eating off the land. This is where his knowledge and love of his life-long passions started. He was a prolific gardener much of his adult life–maintaining a large garden every year for vegetables and flowers for all to enjoy. His children and grandchildren all inherited his love of animals and nature from his fine example. He was a life member of the Cos Cob Rifle and Revolver Club and the National Rifle Association. He loved to shoot guns and bows, hunt and fish at various locations around the USA including his ranch in the Catskill Mountains.
He was very hardworking and was always busy helping people. While working his 40-hour week at Electrolux, plus his own side business on nights and weekends, he always found time to devote to his children. Ken was a caring and involved father – very much ahead of his time. He spent a lot of time with his little children, sharing his singing, guitar playing, and as we grew, teaching us how to hunt, fish, plant, build things, repair things, fix a car, drive a car and do our multiplication tables. He would also sit and play games and every Sunday our big family event was to watch Mutual of Omaha and Disney together. Later, Dad enjoyed our famous ‘poker nights’ with the Grandkids.
Ken shared his love of music as he enjoyed playing and singing cowboy folk songs on his guitar (acquired for $18 at a San Antonio Hock Shop in 1952) for his children and his grandkids too. Ken loved to sing tenor in the choir at Sacred Heart Church, Greenwich, CT. He passed on his musical talent as his daughter is a life-long church organist/pianist and both his grandsons play guitar and all his grandkids enjoy singing music. The last few years, he enjoyed attending summer music concerts at the Fairfield Gazebo with his daughter, and always sang out loud and joyous harmony to the good old hymns at the United Methodist Congregational Church of Monroe. He and his grandson Tommy played and sang together his old favorites, especially John Denver’s “County Roads”.
In later years, he didn’t slow down as he was much in demand to help out others with house and misc. repairs for friends and family. He always had a full toolbox in his van and would stop to help someone stuck on the side of the road, no matter the weather. He always had time to enjoy a cup of coffee and a cookie or donut and share a good story. Ken delighted everyone with his amazing stories from his electic history - including the time he was chased by a mama bear; he was surprised by a bull moose and he got bit by a poisonous copperhead snake. He lived a long and amazing life, on his own terms, he was a man’s man - helping anyone in need with his handy skills. We will share his legacy with future generations so he will be missed but not forgotten.
The family is planning a burial with full military honors at the Veterans Cemetery, Middletown, CT, and a celebration of his life sometime in Fall 2021 after vaccines are received and gathering rules are eased a bit.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kenneth A. Bridge Sr., please visit our floral store.