Hilda Bridges died of natural causes at 11:28 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, at Murray-Calloway County Hospital in Murray.
She was born on April 7, 1918, in Trigg County to the late Thomas Green and Vara Thomas Williams.
Mrs. Hilda Bridges was a member of Cadiz Baptist Church. She was a retired educator in Union County schools. She was an organizing charter member of the Thomas Bridges Association, organizing members of the James Thomas Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, member of Ophelia Chapter No. 55 Order of the Eastern Star, Trigg County Historical Society and other civic, educational and benevolent organizations. Mrs. Bridges was known for her talent in voice and piano.
Born Nee’ Forest Hilda Williams, she was the last surviving of five daughters and three sons of Thomas G. and Vara T. Williams. The family farm is now the entrance to the Lake Barkley State Resort Park on Highway 68. At age nine, she witnessed the untimely death of her eldest brother, Gillis T. Williams and vowed to her mother she would name her first child in his honor. She was an alumnus of Canton Grade School, Cadiz High School (1936) and Murray State College.
Her first teaching assignment was at the one-room Crossroads school in rural southern Trigg County. Her career included the Chrysler Corporation, National Ammunition Fireworks, faculty member at Uniontown and Morganfield Elementary schools, and Union County High School where she developed and operated the first high school audio-visual department in the region.
In February 1945 she married Gilbert N. Bridges (1915-2003) also a native of Trigg County. His occupation with the United States Army Corps of Engineers took them to Lock No. 48 near Evansville and Lock No. 49 in Union County. Upon retirement in 1974, they again made their residence in Trigg County. Mrs. Bridges has made her home in Murray since 2007.
The couple was recognized for their historical and genealogical interests, having published the Thomas and Bridges History. In addition they also were contributing editors to the Trigg County History. Hilda also participated in preparing “Canton on the Cumberland.” They were among the 29 original organizing charter members of the Thomas-Bridges Association, both having served in supportive and leadership roles.
She leaves a legacy of love to all who knew her and felt it was a privilege to strive for the spiritual, educational and cultural benefits of others.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Gilbert Bridges; three brothers, Gillis T. Williams, Loys L. Williams and John Cullen Williams; and four sisters, Alma W. Guier, Annie W. Malone, Roberta W. Cunningham and Geneva W. Simmons.
She is survived by one son, Gillis A. Bridges of Murray; three nephews and eight nieces.
Pallbearers were Donald Lynn Thomas, Michael William Thomas, Marc Thomas, Scott T. Bridges, Stan Humphries, Charles Craig, Paul Godwin and David Poyner. Honorary pallbearers were Dillmon R. Cunningham, John Ward Thomas, William Lawrence, Manuel Brown, Curt Holmes and Jim Wallace. Music was provided by Gary Thompson, pianist, Mrs. Janet Hodge, vocalist and Mr. AY Hodge, director of music.