Paul F. Bridges, Sr., 84, of Belton, Missouri, passed away Thursday, April 30, 2009.
Paul was born on June 15, 1924 in Cabool, Missouri, to Frank and Beulah Bridges. After attending Cabool Schools, Paul joined the Army Air Corps. During World War II, he served in the 467th Bomb Group as a bombardier/armorer/gunner, flying 35 missions over enemy territory and surviving being shot down twice.
After returning to Cabool, he married his wife of over 62 years, Esther.
Paul quickly learned and used many skills in the construction business and for most of his life was a construction superintendent overseeing the building of churches and schools, most in the Kansas City, Missouri, area. He was a member of Carpenters Local #61 for over 50 years.
Paul and Esther moved to Belton in 1953 and lived in the same house for over 55 years. He was on Belton City Council and coached Little League baseball.
Paul was a hard-working, non-complaining and self-sufficient man. He loved to fish, once catching, in a two-hour struggle, a 40-pound catfish on four-pound test line.
During their life, and mostly after retirement, Paul and Esther enjoyed traveling and visited every state in America.
He belonged to South Haven Baptist Church in Belton. He was a loving, giving, teaching father and husband who did many good deeds during his life. He will be greatly missed by his wife, children and others.
Survivors included his wife, Esther; their children, Paul Jr. and wife Deana, Doug and Anita; three beautiful and beloved grandchildren, Lauren, Catherine and Melissa with whom he loved visiting; and his sisters, Ruth and Pauline.
Visitation services were held on Sunday, May 3, 2009, at McGilley and George Funeral Home in Belton. Funeral services were at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 5, 2009, at Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home in Cabool with Pastor Scott Moots officiating. Pallbearers were Paul Bridges, Jr., Gary Grose, Larry Hogue, Robert Ratterree, Bobby White and Danny White. Interment with full military honors was in Cabool Cemetery under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Cabool Alumni Association c/o the funeral home or to South Haven Baptist Church, 16800 Bel-Ray Blvd., Belton, MO 64012.