HOLDEN AND OKEECHOBEE, FL - HOLDEN AND OKEECHOBEE, FL - "The song has ended, but the melody lingers on." Ruby Mae (Urquhart) Bridges, 84, passed away June 8, 2015 at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine.
Ruby was born in Newport, Maine on November 30, 1930 to Howard and Ida Urquhart. She was the eighth child in a family of nine surviving children. The family moved to Prospect Harbor, Maine, shortly after her birth, so the large family would never go hungry, as one could fish, dig for clams, and survive on the bounty the Maine Coast provides. She learned from an early age to maximize a food budget and plan menus in order to survive during the tough Depression years. Those are skills she would carry with her throughout her life as she fed her own growing family. She could embellish those recipes and techniques, and create foods like no one else, even if they followed the same exact recipe. You could literally taste the love. Children, grandchildren and numerous friends and family enjoyed her fantastic culinary prowess.
Ruby could carry a tune; her passion for singing began as a child. In the early 1940s "The Urquhart Sisters" would travel to Presque Isle, Maine, and sing on a weekend radio show. It was commonplace, in later years, to see all the sisters at a family reunion harmonizing for hours on end. Ruby was the last surviving sibling of the Urquhart family, reuniting the family with her passing, they now sing with the Angels.
Ruby was a devoted wife; she was married to Chancy Bridges, the love of her life, for 67 years. Ruby and Chan worked hard and played even harder. They enjoyed visiting and receiving family and friends into their home. As a younger couple, they would frequent anywhere there was music and good company. In later years, they enjoyed traveling to and from their retirement home in Florida, making friends all along the way. Ruby and Chan were regulars at the local American Legion and VFW clubs, they loved the camaraderie and Ruby would sing karaoke tunes. She baked pies for their fundraisers and it was not unheard of that one of her apple pies would auction for nearly one hundred dollars.
Ruby will be sorely missed but remembered every time we hear a Patsy Cline song or with the smell of a baking pie. We will remember her intelligence, her infectious belly laughing and how she never was afraid to speak her mind. She will be remembered when we follow her sage advice or follow one of her recipes.
Ruby is survived by her husband Chancy Bridges of Holden, her children, Alton Bridges and wife Jean of Holden, Jeff Bridges and partner Jim Bowdoin of Winslow, Sherrill Bridges of Winslow, Wayne Bridges and wife Teri of Milton, N.H., Lorne Bridges and wife Celeste of Bangor, stepsons, Tommy Bridges of Gouldsboro, Richard Bridges and wife Jean of Birch Harbor. She is survived by 17 grandchildren: Brenda, Bryan, Barbara, Kim, Richard "JR", Tammy, Bobby, Michael, Crystal, Josh, Curtis, Carrie, Shannon, Brandon, Nate, Amber and Derek and numerous great grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Ervin and Mary Bridges, and brother-in-law, Lynnwood Schlehuber, a daughter-in-law, Georgia Willis, as well as many friends at the Red Barn Campground in Holden.
Ruby was predeceased by her best friend of 55 years, Virginia "Ginny" Stacey. Ruby and Ginny enjoyed many life adventures with each other. And in true best friend fashion passed within a few days of each other, perhaps, to start new adventures together. She is also predeceased by her sisters Clara Knouse, Helen Murchison, Shirley Argraves, Tena Schlehuber, Jolene Romer, and brothers Howard Urquhart, Hilldreth Urquhart, and Leonard Urquhart and a very special daughter-in-law, Arlene Bridges.
"Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it Jesus, is my plea. Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be dear Lord, let it be" ~ performed by Patsy Cline
A remembrance service and celebration of life will be held at a future date.