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Ditzler Braden "Jack" Bridges

June 7, 1926 ~ May 24, 2018 (age 91)


Ditzler Braden Jack Bridges, of Sunnyvale, died May 24, 2018, after suffering a heart attack two days earlier.  With his family at his side, Jack passed peacefully while listening to Duke Ellington’s Take the A Train. He was born to Wiley Allen and Selma Mae Bridges on June 7, 1926 in Cornersville, Tennessee. The family moved to Nashville where Jack and his brothers attended and graduated from Peabody Demonstration High School.

Ditzler Braden Jack Bridges, affectionately known as Jack, was a Rocket Scientist! He became an electrical engineer, a competitive bridge player, and a deeply loved Father of four children. He loved big band jazz, and in the 1940s while training in the Navy, he used to sneak out through the window to be a part of Chicago’s live jazz scene.  The problem was that sneaking back in, after partaking of the night life, meant jumping from the window into the dark basement. 

After two years in the Navy as an Electronics Technician’s Mate, the WWII ended, and Jack used the G.I. bill at Northwestern Tech in Illinois, completing a degree in Electrical Engineering. He pursued graduate studies in computer applications at MIT. Later, he moved to California to start a graduate program in numerical analysis and computer design at UC Berkeley. Those were some of the earliest days of computer engineering and degree programs in these disciplines. It was there that he met and married Janet Strobel, who was also studying at UC Berkeley.

Jack’s early career included five years as a research and development Engineer in electromagnetics at Battelle Memorial Institute.  In 1956 he and his new wife Janet moved to Florida where Jack worked for RCA, then a major subcontractor of NASA. In 1960, the family moved to California where Jack worked for Lockheed Missiles and Space Company.  He retired from Lockheed with his last project being SDI the Strategic Defense Initiative Aka Star Wars during the Regan era.

Jack loved games, of any kind, especially bridge and cribbage.  He was also athletic and played tennis and later table tennis.  He was a competitive tennis player, and taught one of his daughters, who was on the high school tennis team, some of his tricks:  move less, win more!  He loved to play bridge and listen to jazz music.  And most of all, he loved family gatherings, like the fun times at his house in Sunnyvale, playing croquet in the back yard, or playing Clue in the living room.

Jack is survived by four children: Jeri Edwards of San Jose, Vera Marie Bridges, of Chico, Ca, Bonnie Bridges, of San Francisco, and John Bridges, of Los Gatos.  He is also survived by four grandchildren Dylan, Isadora, Nina, and Sarah, nephews Dan and Jim, and numerous great-nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held July 1, from 11:00-3:00 at the Santa Clara Elks Lodge, 1680 Martin Ave., Santa Clara, CA.  A service will also be held in Cornersville, Tennessee on August 19, at 1:00 at the Beechwood Cemetery, where his ashes will be buried.

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