Funeral services for Patsy Ann (Johnson) Bridge, age 75, of Hay Springs, NE will be at 3:00 PM on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at the United Methodist Church in Hay Springs, NE with Pastor Paul Smith officiating.
A memorial has been established for the Dawes County Historical Museum. Donations may be sent to Chamberlain-Drabbels Mortuary, PO Box 443, Hay Springs, NE 69347.
Patsy passed away on October 6, 2017 at her home outside of Hay Springs, NE surrounded by her children. She was born on July 9, 1942 in Rushville, NE.
Her lifetime of love and commitment to her children was by far her greatest gift and accomplishment, one her family will treasure forever.
Patsy was born July 9, 1942 in Rushville, NE to James “Jim” Johnson and Hazel Watson Johnson, the oldest of three children. The family lived on the Mary Green farm two miles east of Hay Springs, and she attended Harmony Home School until they moved to the Henry Olson farm south of town, where she attended Active Alcove, District 56. She attended Hay Springs High School, graduating as valedictorian in 1960.
Patsy met Richard Bridge while still in high school, and a relationship began, one that would last more than 57 years. Patsy and Richard were married on July 31, 1960 in the old Methodist Church in Hay Springs, with Richard wheeling her down the street in a wheelbarrow, a local tradition. They moved into the Alcorn Apartments in Hay Springs where they welcomed Morgan Kay and Terry Ray.
In 1964, they purchased the LaForrest Willis acreage south of Hay Springs. They spent the next few years landscaping, remodeling, and improving the property. Kirby Lee was welcomed into the family during this time. Fond memories include building the garage, raising a large garden, and purchasing their first cow, Mrs. Moo, and Queenie, a Shetland pony.
In 1965, Patsy began working as Executive Director at Sunset Heights, where she met many wonderful people, developing fond memories for both her and her family, which continued long after she no longer was the Director.
In 1970, the family moved to the Grandma Flora Hagedorn place southwest of Hay Springs, where Richard began farming and ranching. Wendy Lynn joined the family in 1971. Early in 1972, Patsy assumed the duties of City Clerk for the City of Hay Springs and in May 1972 assumed the position of Administrator of Pioneer Manor Nursing Home. She continued working as the Administrator until December 2009, when she retired after giving 37 years of her life caring for the elderly loved ones in the community. She took great pride in her role as Administrator and truly developed Pioneer Manor into a place “where Love and Hope abides.”
Patsy was an accomplished cake decorator, with wedding cakes being her specialty. Many marriages throughout the Northwest Panhandle of Nebraska were blessed by a cake from Patsy, including the one with the baby toe imprint where Wendy “kicked” the cake as the cake was transported. Patsy was also a skilled seamstress, an avid gardener, and a talented quilter, winning many quilting awards. She was also an excellent cook, with her chicken-on-the-bone and potato salad one of her family’s favorite dishes. She loved her flower gardens and yard, which brought her great peace and contentment. Patsy also loved to antique shop, attending many estate sales and scouring antique stores looking for “treasures” which now grace her home. Patsy loved her community, one she never left. She worked tirelessly on the Hay Springs Centennial celebration and spent countless hours on the Centennial book.
Patsy was continuously active. Even after retirement, she remained busy quilting, serving her church, and volunteering at the Dawes County museum, as well as attending many of her grandchildren’s activities.
Patsy’s greatest pride, joy and accomplishment was her family. She was extremely proud of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She enjoyed hearing and participating in their lives. She was the consummate cheerleader, thrilled with the successes of her family, and was also there when things did not go well, offering a shoulder to cry on or listening and gently offering advice. She was the family source of wisdom and advice and the pivotal base upon which her entire family revolved.
Patsy was preceded in death by husband Richard; parents Jim and Hazel Johnson; and Richard’s parents James and Almira Bridge.
Celebrating Patsy’s life are children Morgan Bridge, Terry (Dea) Bridge, Kirby (Kathy) Bridge, and Wendy (Rodney) Chasek; grandchildren and great-grandchildren Patric (Jessica) Bridge and their children Evelyn and Aaron, Brendan and Kole Bridge, Kelsey, Kalli and Kinzie Bridge, Ryan (Andrea) Westlake, Lacy (Travis) Johnson and their new little girl, Bo Westlake, Kyle (Jesse) Westlake and their children Brynli and Karson, and Tyler Westlake; cherished brothers- and sisters-in-law Joe and Butch Johnson and Jim and Gladys Johnson; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Chamberlain Drabbels Mortuary in Hay Springs is in charge of arrangements for Patsy Ann (Johnson) Bridge.