Mary Agnes Rita Mudd Bridges, 96, of Chicago, IL, died peacefully on August 20, 2020, at Bethesda Rehab and Senior Care in Chicago.
Mary was born December 2, 1923, in Ruma, IL, the daughter of James Victor and Mary Edna (Donohoo) Mudd. She married Raymond John Bridges on December 2, 1946, in Chicago (when asked how they met, dad always said, “Your mother won me in a poker game.”). He preceded her in death on April 1, 1997.
Mary was the third born and eldest daughter of ten children. She went to a one-room schoolhouse in Ruma through third grade. The family then moved to East St. Louis, IL, and she finished her grade school years at St. Mary’s School. She graduated from St. Teresa Academy in East St. Louis, in 1942. Mary was offered a one-year college scholarship for graduating first in her class but turned it down because she was needed at home.
She moved to Chicago, alone, during World War II, and had her first child, Kathleen, at the St. Vincent DePaul Orphanage in Chicago. Mary’s parents raised Kathleen. Mary then met and married Ray and they had six children.
With her youngest still in diapers, Mary rejoined the workforce and worked full time till 1990. In her sixties, she attended Mundelein College in Chicago and graduated with high honors with a BA in Philosophy; her 1986 senior research paper was “Kant’s Moral Theory.” Mary also traveled extensively across the US and a number of other countries including Mexico, Canada, Ireland, Bosnia, and Herzegovina.
She became an excellent cook (during her child rearing days, money was short, food options were limited; when her children grew up, she got to display her true culinary skills), she wallpapered many a room (old school style, with that paste!), reupholstered many a chair, and was an avid writer (poetry and prose) and reader with her favorite book being James Joyce’s “Ulysses.” She was a subscriber to the Lyric Opera in Chicago for many years. Her favorite singer was Tony Bennett. In her seventies, Mary studied French at a local junior college.
Mary loved Chicago, was a lifelong Democrat, and said her only regret was that she might not live long enough to vote for Joe Biden.
Survivors include her seven children: Kathleen (Mudd) Coder of Belleville, IL; Maureen Bridges of Oak Park; Sheila (Tom) Brenner of Worcester, MA; John Bridges (Chuck Smith) of Quincy, IL; Tim Bridges of Chicago, Terry (Karen) Bridges of Chicago, and Patrick (Elaine) Bridges of Chicago; 13 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; 8 great-great-grandchildren; 1st great-great-great-granddaughter is due in September; and sister Mercedes Tonies, of Poynette, WI.
In addition to her husband, Mary was preceded in death by her parents; brothers James, Hugh, George, Bert, and Richard Mudd; sisters Alice Pinion, Rose Lemieux, and Edna Marcantonio; and great-grand-daughter Rachel Sale.
Mary will be cremated following a private family service due to COVID-19 guidelines, and interred next to her husband at the Bridges family plot in Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago (Section 119, Lot 24).
A celebration of her life will be held at some point in the future when we can all celebrate it safely and joyfully.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to either the Alzheimer’s Association or the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Arrangements by Cooney Funeral Home.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Bridges, please visit our floral store.
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