Dr. Sidney R. Bridges was a prominent dentist.
Bridges died Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. He was 81.
He was born Jan. 31, 1931 to Sidney Bridges and Molly Riddick Bridges.
Bridges attended Philadelphia public schools, graduating from Northeast High School with high honors and four-year city scholarship to Temple University. He was admitted to a selective program that permitted students to matriculate through two years of concentrated undergraduate work in science, and move directly into graduate medical programs in the third year.
After graduating from Temple University’s School of Dentistry in 1954, Bridges served in United States Air Force as a captain at the USAF Air Base in Chaumont, France. There, he practiced dentistry and traveled in Europe while on leave.
In 1956, Bridges opened a successful private practice in general dentistry in West Philadelphia. For 50 years, his practice drew patients from all over Philadelphia and its suburbs.
“A man of subtlety and few words, he was strong in spirit and deed; he was committed to insuring that persons of modest means had access to outstanding dental care,” his family said.
“Integrity and service were the hallmarks of his career.”
A member of the Pennsylvania Board of Dental Examiners since 1975 and the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia County Dental Society, Bridges was elected vice chairman of the Northeast Regional Board of Dental Examiners (NERB) in 1993, a national licensure accreditation agency for dentists and dental hygienists serving 15 northeastern state dental boards. He chaired NERB’s Dental Review Committee responsible for the creation, administration, and assessment of clinical examinations. In 1989, Bridges was elected president of PCDS.
Bridges’ interests and influence reached well beyond the dental realm.
His community engagement led him to serve on the boards of the Big Brothers Association, the Parkside YMCA, Citizens for the Improvement of Justice, and the Wynnefield Residents’ Association. He also served on many professional and scientific organizations such as the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, and as a corporate board member of the Pennsylvania Blue Shield.
Among the multitude of honors Bridges received are the Community Service Award from the Commission on Human Relations of the City of Philadelphia, 1968; the Community Service Award from the St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, 1978 and the Legion of Honor Award of the Chapel of the Four Chaplains, 1981.
Throughout his career Bridges remained an astute student and advocate of the dental profession, mentoring aspiring dentists who now have successful practices in Philadelphia and other regions, his family said.
Bridges retired from his dental practice in 2006 after 50 years of distinguished service.
His passions included gardening, carpentry, tennis, classical and jazz music, and photography. He loved capturing the beauty of Fairmount Park, the Wissahickon Valley Trail, the waterfront, Boathouse Row, and the Philadelphia cityscape and skyline.
“He relished portraiture and sharing pictures of flowers, bridges, rowers, and architectural details with friends, family, and the larger Philadelphia community in gallery showings,” his family said.
Bridges is survived by his wife, the former Joyce A. Winfrey and two children, Sidney Edward Bridges and Sheila Anne Bridges, both of New York.
According to his family, Bridges never relished being the center of attention. He made very clear his desire not to have a funeral or formal memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be sent to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America in his name. Submit donations via https://secure3.4agoodcause.com/afa/fundraisers/memorial1.aspx.
Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.