Marilyn Grace Bridge was born to Leonard and Inez Bridge on July 24, 1927 in Dietrich, Idaho. She died peacefully with family at her bedside on April 5, 2019 in Buhl, Idaho. Her parents cleared their original 40 acres in 1918 to build the farm where Mom was born and raised. In high school she lettered in sports and was a valedictorian. Immediately upon graduation in May 1945 she went to Long Beach, California to work in a Navy medical facility. After the end of the war she entered Colorado Women's College. While in Denver she met 2nd Lt. Charles James, an Air Force pilot who was in training nearby. They were wed on August 2, 1946 and would be together for 70 years until his death April 7, 2017. After graduation in 1947 she joined him in Occupied Japan at both Tachikawa and Matsushima. The duty assignments following were at Mather AFB CA, Chanute AFB IL, McClellan AFB CA, Asmara Eritrea, Tripoli Libya, Virginia (Washington DC), Maxwell AFB AL, Germany at both Wiesbaden and Rhein Main, Holloman AFB NM, and George AFB CA.
Mom and Dad were a true team during their 31 years in the Air Force. Dad deployed to Vietnam in 1969 and was frequently on other Temporary Duty (TDY). While he was away Mom would be the only parent in charge. During these times we four kids could always rely on her loving care. Over the years she was involved with many organizations, often in leadership positions. Some of these groups included the Officers Wives club at various bases, Assistance League of Victor Valley, Mentors Club, Sons of the American Revolution, and Rotary Club. Normally she was involved in activities to benefit the children in her community as with vision screening programs, teaching ESL, and helping to provide new school clothes for those in need via the School Bell project. Mom and Dad continued to travel for many years after retirement. Aside from living in several overseas locations Mom visited 30 nations and all 50 states. It would take many pages to completely chronicle her many adventures. Mom lived very much in the present, but when asked could deliver great stories of her past. She was elegant and strong, intelligent and beautiful, and had a wonderful, dry sense of humor. We saw all of this as she gave everything of herself to her family. We are very thankful she was laughing and smiling to her last day. Her kids could not have asked for a better mother. She will be dearly missed.
Mom was preceded in death by her parents; siblings, Max, Aldeen, and Arnold; her husband Charles; her first son who died at birth; grandson, Mathew Nelms and all of her in-laws.
She is survived by her children, Deborah James Arata, Cheryl Richardson (David), Charles James Jr., Dennis James, grandchildren, Caylor Ross, Shannon Arata, Major Christopher James (USAF)(Sarah), Keith James (Jenny), Lindsay James, and great granddaughter, Charlotte James. She also leaves both a large extended family and many friends she loved very much.
Moms ashes will be interred with Dad's at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery in Boise, Idaho. Per her request there will be no services. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Marilyn's memorial webpage at www.farmerfuneralchapel.com