Dr. David Randall “Randy” Bridges told his last great tale on April 30, 2023. He rode off into the proverbial sunset from his home in Bryan, Texas. He had been spinning one helluva yarn for 69 years.
Randy’s story, like all great stories, began with a boy far from home, dreaming of life as a cowboy. He was born to the late Dr. Doye Ray Bridges and Joy Miller Bridges on August 21, 1953, in Bethesda, Maryland, but he got to Texas as soon as he could. Once the family was in Victoria, his true rooted spirit as a cowboy was realized. He knew then that while a side quest may take him away for a short time, Texas would always be home. Being the oldest was a job he took seriously. He made it his mission to create a lifetime of adventure for his sister, Cindy Sue Bridges Brown, and brother, Ray Miller Bridges. Even great adventurers sometimes need guidance, and Randy sought inspiration from books like “The Great Escape,” which led him to try to chisel his way out of his bedroom through the foundation. Spy books taught him to cut a hole in the cupola so he could keep a watchful eye on the neighborhood. This worked until a good rain came through town and his spy hole was discovered. He was a master dirt clod warrior on the tough streets of Jade and could dig an underground hideout that was the envy of neighborhood boys.
The time came for him to make the hero’s journey, and he chose a path that led him to Stephen F. Austin University and later to Houston. It was here in Houston, at the University of Texas Health Science Center, that Randy’s life would be forever changed. He met a girl, Debra Ann Sheldrake Bridges, and wooed her with his high wool socks and kazoo band marching abilities. While she wasn’t the adventuring type, and he wondered if she was up to the challenge, she chose to be his thick and thin sidekick, becoming his wife in 1980. They recruited two new members in their daughter, Jennifer Lauren Bridges Dukes, and son, David Ryan Bridges. They moved to Edna, Texas, where Randy worked as the town chiropractor, sports photographer, Lions club member, historical society member, Trinity Episcopal Church vestry member and main street fixture. After many years of rootedness in the small town, it was Debra this time who sought the adventure. The pair of travelers left for their last big adventure together to the city of Bryan, where Randy worked as a professor for Blinn College before joining the Research Compliance Department at Texas A&M University. Throughout his life, he kept his eyes narrowed for additional members to join his band of explorers by recruiting son-in-law Chuck Dukes, daughter-in-law Courtney Leiter Bridges, and granddaughters, Eva Joy Dukes and Arabelle Ryan Dukes. The youngest two were his most ardent followers and acolytes.
This small group that he brought together invites any other travelers Randy met along the way who would like to celebrate and share their stories to join the services listed below.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations made to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation, https://tpwd.texas.gov/business/donations/ and know that Randy would tell everyone to “take a hike".