John Martin Bridges 1936-2021

Our dad, John Martin Bridges, at 84 years old and in an attempt to avoid traffic, left this world peacefully in the middle of the night on March 26, 2021, to embark on his final road trip, destination HEAVEN! He had an appointment with God for coffee and to discuss his eternal care before his reunion with his family and friends. He had a very busy day!

John began his life on November 11, 1936, in Seattle, Washington. He was the beloved brother of Bill, Dick, Tom and Ruth, son of William and sweet Harriet. At a young age, they moved to Parkrose, Oregon, where he later graduated from Central Catholic High School. On October 3, 1955, he enlisted in the United States Navy and proudly served his country aboard the USS Halibut, the first nuclear powered submarine designed to launch guided missiles. Some of his greatest memories of his time at sea were watching sea turtles swim by, as well as the time the submarine was on the line of the Equator and he jumped into the frigid waters just so he could swim on both sides of it.

John married his one true love, Thorene, on March 10, 1956, in San Diego, California. Together they had four children, Scott of Scappoose, Oregon, David of Milwaukie, Oregon, Elizabeth Morgan of Gresham, Oregon, and Sara, lovingly known as Sally, of Amity, Oregon.

John was honorably discharged on October 2, 1961, and moved to Pleasanton, California. John and Thorene later moved to Sunol, California, and bought Greystone Manor and made that home. In 1961, John started working for GE as a technician then supervisor at the Vallecitos Nuclear Power Plant reactor. He worked there until the family moved to Portland, Oregon, in 1970. John bought a walnut orchard in the hills of Sheridan in 1970 and spent every weekend there with his kids. From 1970 until the mid-1990s, he worked for Westinghouse and then worked helping with the dismantling process of the Trojan Nuclear Power plant. In 2003, he retired from working completely and spent the rest of his life doing whatsoever he wanted and as he liked.

John was a humble man of unshakeable conviction and treasured the peace and tranquility of his orchard. He was raised a man of God and of the earth. To him, living meant willful, cheerful engagement and doing. His greatest achievement was his role as a father to four fortunate and grateful children. His proudest moments were with his kids during the many magnificent and momentous occasions spent together that are etched into our hearts for us to adore and remember forever. We love you, Dad, and are so grateful you gave us the greatest of the love you had to give and spent all your free time with us. We will always remember the weekends at the orchard where you let us learn and grow and just be kids, building tree houses and digging ponds, teaching us to shoot guns and hunt, learning to drive tractors and trucks, the excitement of the fox box and the swing you made for two that swung out to what felt like the edge of the world. Thank you for always letting us play in the dirt and mud and sand and sea, the tailgate picnics with your homemade root beer in Dixie cups. We will always remember your words, “Holy Moses!” whenever a teachable moment would present itself, and how you would kick off summer with a trip to Pixieland and follow it up with weeks of summer spent in the house on the bluff on Picture Windows Lane with the life-size medieval knight in shining armor in the entryway, the evening bonfires on the beach at Arch Cape, roasting marshmallows, climbing every rock, exploring every cave, playing in every creek.

Above all else, our dad will be remembered by his children as a man who had a life-long love affair with road trips, always choosing to take the road less traveled and following it to the very end. Because those are the roads that are endlessly fascinating and will lead us to someplace achingly beautiful.

Our dad will always be remembered as a sparkling and burning light that illuminated and inspired his family. He was loved, is missed, and his energy and spirit will live on in us forever. Long live the beauty that comes down and through and onto us. We will always remember your love. May you forever be at peace, Dad.

An honors ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. April 26, 2021, at Willamette National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please put up a bird house so one of his feathered friends can have a home.



This! What a beautiful tribute to your father.

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