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1955 Windell 2021

Windell Bridges

October 16, 1955 — July 9, 2021

Windell Ray Bridges passed away on Friday, July 9, 2021, at the age of 65, at his home in Fort Sumner. He was born on October 16, 1955, to the home of J. Windell Bridges and Vivian Grace (Whipple) Bridges Finney in Fort Sumner. He is preceded in death by his son, Joshua J. Wayne Bridges, his mother Vivian Grace Bridges Finney, and his father J. Windell Bridges. He is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Katherine Ann (Bell) Bridges, his daughter Wendy Dae (Bridges) Williamson, son-in-law Larry Williamson, and two grandchildren, Rae-anne Elizabeth Jane Williamson, and Chase J. Wayne Williamson. Also surviving are his brother Mike Melton, brother John (Julie) Bridges, sister Melissa Bridges, brother-in-law Kenny Bell, Jr. and several nieces and nephews. Windell believed in hard work and never letting a handicap slow you down. Despite losing his right hand at 14, he never allowed that accident to dictate his future. Anyone who truly knew Windell witnessed his ability to outwork those around him. He was driven to provide for his family and over the years he worked in farming, geological services, automobile paint and body, maintenance and transportation for Ft. Sumner Schools, and as a small business owner of Bridges Trash Hauling, Bridges Rentals, and The Glass Master. Throughout his life, Windell valued the importance of learning from others and giving back that knowledge to the community around him. There were numerous individuals who played a significant role in helping to build his skills over the years, the most influential was his father-in-law Kenneth Wayne Bell who imparted everything he knew about construction and the rental business. Windell took that knowledge and found ways to give back. He was an EMT for years and was a City Councilman before serving a term as Mayor of Ft. Sumner. He was also a fixture in his later years helping his daughter and teaching her students the ins and outs of construction while they built homecoming floats. As a personal business owner, he also found a way to mentor and share his vast knowledge and skills with his workers. Over the years, there have been numerous individuals who have stepped in to lend a hand, but a special thanks goes to Tyler “Sketchers” Riggins and Stuart Perkins who not only learned from him, but also positively impacted him. Making “lifetime” memories with his wife and family were by far his favorite moments. He loved traveling and exploring new countries with trips to Iceland, Alaska, the East Coast, and the Mediterranean providing many special memories. Following his grandchildren around from the gym to the throwing ring to a rocket launch or an art show were some of his proudest moments. He loved to help mark his granddaughter’s shot throws during the local track meets and he looked forward to seeing the latest art creation of his grandson. Family poker games of Texas Hold’em, “No Peeky”, Criss-Cross, and “Split the Pot” at Thanksgiving and Christmas provided many hours of laughs, while hunting trips with his son-in-law and other family members were memories in the making. If given his choice of memory making moments, it is without a doubt that one would find Windell on Lake Sumner with his wife reeling in walleye. When you get to heaven, you will find him and his son fishing on a lake waiting for the love of his life to join them in the great catch. Visitation hours for family and friends will be Sunday, July 11, 2021 from 1pm to 6pm at the Chavez Funeral Home in Fort Sumner. Graveside services will be held at 10:00 am Monday, July 12, 2021 in the Bridges Family Plot, Fort Sumner Cemetery with Rev. Alan Bell officiating. Pallbearers will include Richard Hobbs, Knox Cortese, Mike Cantrell, Manuel Roybal, V.E. Propps, Stuart Perkins, Bob Pattinson, and David James. Honorary Pallbearers include Tyler Riggins and all his friends and family. The family prefers memorial contributions in memory of Windell to be made to the following: FSHS National Honor Society, P.O. Box 381, Fort Sumner, NM 88119, Ft. Sumner Cemetery Association, P.O. Box 180, Fort Sumner, NM 88119 or Assurance Home, 1000 E 18th , Roswell, NM 88201. Arrangements are under the direction of Chavez Funeral Home, 830 N. Fifth Street, Fort Sumner, New Mexico. (575) 355-2311.
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