Billy Gene Bridges, 85, passed away on November 25, 2019, at his home, surrounded by loved ones. He was born on May 5, 1934, in the Old Pearl Community, Simpson County, Mississippi, to James Franklin Bridges and Pearl Burke Bridges.
Billl graduated from Pearl High School and Hinds Junior College and then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He served with honor in the 3d Battalion, 11th Regiment, 1st Marine Division, participating in the defense of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Following his military service, he attended the University of Mississippi, graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration (1958). Bill then attended the University Of Mississippi School of Law, where he earned a Bachelor of Laws (1961) and later a Juris Doctorate (1968). He continued his legal education at the Institute of Judicial Administration at the New York University School of Law.
Bill began his legal career in Rankin County and served the public in many capacities over the years, including County Attorney, District Attorney and Chancery Court Judge. In 1995 he became one of the inaugural judges of the Mississippi Court of Appeals, where he served as Presiding Judge and Chief Judge, retiring in 2005. After retirement he served as a Senior Status Judge across the state of Mississippi.
Bill was dedicated in his love of Christ and serving the Lord. He was a member of Crossgates Baptist Church and an active member of The Gideons International for more than 20 years. Bill enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, woodworking, and socializing with friends and family. His wit and wisdom will be missed by many.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Kenneth Franklin Bridges, and an infant daughter. He is survived by his wife Sandra Acuff Bridges; two daughters, Jamie Lee (Jim Bradham) and Josie Bridges (Chris McLain); and two sons, Billy Bridges, Jr. (Cindy) and Brian Bridges (Karen). He is also survived by seven grandchildren: Jonathan Lee (Kiaya), Hannah Lee, Carly Pyron (Austin), Corey Bridges, Holly Newcomb (Thomas), JoniBeth Bridges, and Aiden McLain; step-grandchildren David Owens IV and Kyle Owens; and three great-grandchildren: Wyatt, Wesley, and Lane Newcomb.
The family will receive visitors on Friday, November 29, from 5:00-7:00 p.m., and Saturday, November 30, from 9:00-10:30 a.m., at Ott & Lee Funeral Home, Brandon, MS, with service following at the funeral home at 11:00 a.m. Saturday. Graveside services will be held immediately thereafter at Floral Hills Memory Gardens in Pearl, MS.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Crossgates Baptist Church, 8 Crosswoods Road, Brandon, MS 39042, or The Gideons International, care of The Pearl Gideons, P. O. Box 5973, Pearl, MS 39288-5973.
The family would like to thank Dorothy Maxwell and Compassus Hospice for the loving care which they provided for Bill.