Vern Bridgman passed away Monday March 26, 2012 at the Missouri Veteran's Home in Cameron. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, March 29 at the Funeral Home, Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service. Friends may call after 11:00 a.m. Wednesday. Burial will be at Cope Cemetery, near Weatherby, MO. Memorial contributions may be made to the cope Cemetery in care of the funeral home.
Vern was born July 2, 1921 to Fred and Esther (Stewart) Bridgman in Weatherby, MO. He graduated from Winston, MO, in 1941 and went to Gallatin and joined CCC Camp. On April 2, 1942, Vern enlisted in the Marine Corps during WWII, where he was sent to San Diego, CA, for boot camp. After completing boot camp, on his way to Jacks Farm San Diego, CA, for Tank Training, he married his high school sweetheart, Pauline Morrison in Yuma, AZ, on September 29, 1942. After training, Vern was sent to camp Pendleton, Oceanside, CA, and joined 1st Armer Amphibious Battalion. He went aboard the USS Dupage (converted cattle ship) and sailed for the Aleutian Islands, first stop was Guadalcanal. They then went by LST’s to Guam to get new tanks with the 5 inch Hollister with new Cadillac engines and then back by LST’s to Guadalcanal. When secure, they boarded LST’s again for Okinawa then Saipan and back to Guam where he mustard out after war was over and went back to Missouri. He wanted to join the Highway Patrol but requirements said you had to be in state for one year to train and with no jobs available, Vern re-upped and went back to San Diego, CA, where he was sent to Barstow, CA, to school to learn all about supplies before going aboard the USS President Adams to China to Manila to Singapore to Hong Kong to Tack-Co-Bar, and in Tin Sin, China, he joined the pacific rifle team and went to Pearl Harbor where Pauline, and their children, Gary and Bruce came by ship to live. The family then moved to Perris Island, SC, and later to Quantico, VA. Vern was going to be sent to Korea but last minute orders came through, sending him to Hawaii for 2 years. From there, Vern was stationed at El Toro airbase in Irvin, CA. After a year, they bought a house in Santa Ana, CA, and after 2 years, he was stationed to Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, CA. Vern commuted there from Santa Ana for a year, before moving to base at Camp Pendleton, where he spent his last 4 years before getting discharged in April of 1964. At this time, Vern was an E-9, which is as high as an enlisted Marine could go at that time. They then settled down in Missouri, buying two family farms in Winston where they lived until 1992, moving to Lake Viking until 2002. The couple then bought a house in town where they lived until Pauline went to be with the Lord on the 20th of May, 2010. Vern then moved to the VA home in Cameron until his death.
Vern was a long time member of the Fairview Community Church, and his strong faith was evident by serving in any capacity he was needed. Some of Vern’s most cherished times were spent on the farms where he raised sheep and cattle. Vern loved the outdoors and enjoyed the time he spent fishing and hunting. He also had a green thumb and a passion for gardening. Wherever he moved, he always kept an orchard of apples, cherries and peaches. Vern’s heart belonged to the Lord, his country and family.
Vern is preceded in death by his parents, loving wife of 67 years Pauline, Brother, Earl Bridgman, Sister, Ruby McDaniels, one great-grandson.
Vern is survived by his Sons: Bruce Bridgman and wife Shelia of Gallatin, MO, and Gary Bridgman and wife Vonda, of The Dalles, OR, 6 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.