Ted L. Bridges


Ted L Bridges

Ted L. Bridges, devoted husband, father, papa, brother and friend, passed away unexpectedly during a medical procedure on August 16th 2022, at the age of 85.

Ted is preceded in death by his father Cary “Bob” Bridges, mother Vera Smith Bridges and brother Jim Bridges. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Jo Bridges; three children: Craig Bridges, Cara Blenz (Jeff), Tana Ridgeway (Jim); six grandchildren: Jessica Bridges, McKenna Blenz-Alafgani (Jason), Connor Ridgeway, Chandler Ridgeway, Chad Blenz, Katherine Ridgeway, and many other family members and dear friends.

Ted was the oldest of eight siblings whom he loved dearly and maintained a close relationship with throughout the years, including Judy Brodeur, Jennifer Rieger, Jim Bridges, Phil Bridges, Sandy Hinrichs, Michelle Nanney, and Chuck Bridges. He graduated in 1955 from Olympia High School, where he met and fell in love with his high school sweetheart, Jo Sulenes. They were married in 1959, after his return from two proud years of service in the Navy, aboard the USS Columbus. After graduating from St. Martin’s College in 1962, Ted image of Ted L Bridgesfound his dream job working in the beer industry, from which he retired after 35 years.

Ted enjoyed the simple things in life like solving crossword puzzles, fishing for the big ones in Alaska, and crabbing in the San Juan Islands. Ted and Jo traveled to many places over the years, but his favorite was Kauai. He had a lifelong passion for sports and was a season ticket holder for the Seahawks, Sonics, and UW Huskies for many years.

Above all, Ted was deeply committed to his family, and cherished the time they would spend together. He especially loved his role as Papa Ted. He was known by many for his holiday fudge and his love of Frank Sinatra tunes. He will be lovingly remembered by us all for his kind, gentle heart, and his loving embrace.

An intimate family gathering is being planned for October 8th, 2022 to honor and celebrate Ted’s long and well lived life. Please feel free to share any fond memories you may have of Ted below.

5 Responses to “Ted L. Bridges”

  • Carolyn L Caruso says:

    Ted was one of the nicest, warmest, kindest people on the planet. What a privilege to have known this sweet sweet guy. His and Jo’s actions in bringing Frank and me together are an ongoing blessing for which I will be forever grateful. His contagious laugh was unforgettable!! My sincere sympathy to his sweet wife, to his wonderful children and his cherished grands. Love, Carolyn

  • Kay Cooke says:

    Ted leaves behind some broken hearts and many cherished memories. The hole he leaves behind will never be filled as he was the patriarch brother of his 7 siblings. I was incredibly blessed to be part of a beautiful family for 25 years. The Christmas party was one of many highlights and the crab dip was memorable. Ted’s was a generous soul joined equally by his beloved Jo and his beautiful children and grands. The world will miss his light hearted spirit with a gift for fun and laughter. Heaven is blessed – but a bit too soon.

  • Jennifer Rieger says:

    My brother. My friend, whom I cherished. So many memories, so many times of shared laughter and tears. Growing up in a family of eight siblings life was full of great love and humor and loss. Ted was not only my brother whom I adored, but my dear friend and confidante as I am sure he was for each of us. He and Jo were an example to us all. Every year for many years, Ted played Santa to an enraptured audience of siblings, nieces and nephews. an event not to be missed. I remember well the times in our youth when Ted played football & Tronbone, when he first met our wonderful Jo,; the gatherings at reunions. I remember so well the gift of humor we all shared and still do when life was difficult and painful..how we rallied together.. Times of shared memories when Ted and I would recall the past as we both shed tears and laughter. We did not always agree but we respected one another’s view of life. Never forgotten always cherished every moment we shared was a gift of ❤️ Like you for ALWAYS, love you FOREVER.. for always and eternally my brother you’ll be!

  • Charles Bridges says:

    My big brother Ted was a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My earliest memory of him was when I was around 3 years old. He and Jo were planning their wedding and I was to be their ring bearer. I remember that he picked me up one day and took me to get outfitted for a tuxedo – white dinner jacket, black trousers and the requisite bow tie. He also took me to the barber shop and got me a crew cut. I don’t have many memories of looking cute as a youngster, but I did look pretty cute then! The rest of that story is that I panicked and didn’t want to walk down the aisle and refused. Another significant highlight is when Ted and Jo invited me to spend the summer with them in Denver, Colorado. Ted had arranged to get me my first job as a boxboy at Albertsons. It was a wonderful summer. Ted and Jo never counted the cost and were so loving and generous in a million ways, not the least of which entailed driving me back and forth to my job which was about 15 miles each way. They always included me in their family outings and paid my airfare to and from. In the following years, he and Jo hosted numerous Christmas Eve parties at their home which were always filled with laughter, great food and drink, and typical of them both, presents for the little ones in attendance. Years later, coming out to my brother was not an easy thing to do, but I needn’t have worried. He was kind, loving and told me that he respected me for telling him in person. In more recent years, when David and I got married, he and Jo were present, along with most of my other siblings. He made the comment to sister Judy that it was the best wedding he’d ever attended. That was such a validation. More recently, David and I, and Max, got to spend time with he and Jo and always, always, always, they were such gracious and generous hosts, and the time spent was filled with laughter and reminiscing. I remember when we last saw him which followed our brother Jim’s Celebration of Life. We had stayed with Ted and Jo. When we pulled out of their driveway, they waved from inside the garage. You never know when the last time you see someone is the very last time. I am truly heartbroken. He meant so much to me and to so many others. He was truly a stand-up guy who was loved, respected and admired by so many. I learned many valuable life lessons from him that will stay with me forever. He leaves a huge hole in our family. I miss you my precious and sweet brother.

  • Braid MacDonald says:

    I met Ted shortly after going to work for Schlitz in 1975. He had been there several years prior. Because he was in Washington and I in Oregon, we did not see each other much at first due to being in two different Divisions (I out of San Francisco, he out of Denver). We did get together in Milwaukee at seminars and it was there that we discovered we both enjoyed fine dining, especially with the company paying for it. Karl Ratzch’s and Mader’s kept us both full of upscale German food for many years. I remember one Stroh’s seminar when we were discussing finances and the instructor was pointing out cost vs value. He compared a steak at Sizzler to a high cost but high value steak at the Detroit Chop House, upon which Ted gave me a jab and said “Braid, write that restaurant down”. I did and we went. One time, still early in our careers, we met in Portland. Ted had previously worked for a car wash company headquartered there and I had been with Rainier beer covering Portland before Schlitz. We spent a memorable evening showing each other our old Portland haunts. Later in our Schlitz and Stroh’s careers we got to work together for quite a few years, calling on West Coast chain headquarters – quite successfully I might add. We especially enjoyed the WAFC grocer’s conventions together with our wives. One great aspect of this annual convention was that it was held every other year in Hawaii. After our first one there, Ted and Jo (and the Jongejans) introduced Carol and me to Kauai. Not only is it Ted and Jo’s favorite spot but ours too, as we have returned almost every year since, many of them with Ted and Jo. I, as all of you, will sorely miss Ted. He was fun to be with, enjoyable to travel with and a pleasure to work with. We had many a laugh and phone conversation together and I already really miss those.

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