“After lengthy intensive care by EMT's and paramedic Heidi Attenberger, he succumbed,” reported outgoing San Miguel County Coroner Bob Dempsey; “a flight-for-life helicopter was turned back.”
Born on July 16, 1957, to Lloyd and Mary Bridges in Shattuck, Okla., and raised a “Western man,” Bridges was proud of having spent his life in Oregon, Utah, Texas and Colorado. He also briefly lived in Scotland where he worked on an oil rig in the North Sea, writes his ex-wife, Suzann Geisler.
He attended Colorado Mountain College, majoring in Ski Area Operations, and was a master snowcat operator who took great pride in producing high-quality grooming. He worked for many ski resorts throughout the West, most recently at Telski and on the nordic trails of Mountain Village, where he worked for the Parks and Rec Department.
“He was a skilled horseman, and an excellent dog trainer. He wrangled for Roudy for many years, and they were very close friends. Kent loved to ski and spent some time as a downhill racer with the U.S. Ski Team. He will be remembered as a rugged and hardworking family man with a beautiful singing voice,” writes Geisler.
“Kent enjoyed a variety of activities and hobbies: hiking, camping, Southwestern art, fine dining, an eclectic assortment of musical genres, driving, game shows, Tomato Wars, anything with Mickey Mouse on it, Disney movies, powder days, collecting useless stuff, traveling throughout the West, M&Ms, ice cream, hiking for turns in the backcountry, drumming, singing, rocks and minerals, new shoes, catalog shopping, and spending time with his dogs.
“Kent was married twice, first to Nancy Cavendar for seven years; in 2002 he married Geisler and adopted her daughter Lily Rae as his own. Another daughter, Kalli Cheyenne Bridges, was born in 2003 and was the light of his life. Although Suzann and Kent were divorced, they remained good friends and were committed to raising their daughter cooperatively. Kent grew into his role as ‘Daddy’ and often said that being a father was the best thing he had ever done. Period.
“All who knew Kent would agree that he had a heart of gold and was generous to a fault. He would go out of his way to help a friend in need. When you were his friend, you knew it and he would do anything for you. Kent loved life, his friends, family and dogs deeply.
“Kent suffered a heart attack while driving and died on Jan. 6, 2011. He was 53 years old. Preceding him in death were his parents Lloyd and Mary. He is survived by his daughter Kalli of Ridgway, brothers Kevin (Cathy) Bridges of Hollywood, Fla., and Phil (Toni) Hughes of Austin, Tex., a sister Lynann (Ed) Derrick of Annapolis, Md., and his mother Donna Jo Bridges who lives near Austin, Tex. Nieces and nephews include Samantha and Ben Hughes, and Annabelle and Philip Derrick. His ex-wives Suzann and Nancy both loved him dearly and miss him greatly.
“A memorial service is planned for his birthday July 16, 2011, and will be held in Ouray County. Donations can be made to an education fund for his daughter; details pending.
“I’ve been rode hard and put away wet.”
Arrangements are being handled by Valley Lawn Funeral Home in Montrose (249-4400).