Jerilyn Lynette Bridges, 60, passed away peacefully at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana on Memorial Day, May 31, 2021. Jerilyn was born on December 18, 1960, at Malmstrom Air Force Base near Great Falls, Montana to the late Olon Bridges and Eleanor (Maury/Bridges) Douglas.
Most of her childhood was spent in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Jerilyn graduated from Pascagoula High School and continued her education at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She was a Library Science Major with a Minor in Theater. Jerry participated in several theatrical productions including "Hello Dolly" and "Kiss Me, Kate." After college she worked as a librarian for Jackson County Library in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and was a volunteer for the Jackson County Red Cross. She was a founding member and pianist for the first Youth Gospel Choir at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
After moving to South Bend, Indiana she became a caregiver to Barbara Jean Williams who preceded her in death. The eight years she spent with Barbara inspired her nineteen-year career at Logan Center, supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Jerry received numerous appreciation certificates. Gardening and music were some of her favorite subjects to share with her clients. She was known to teach a love of God’s creatures—even turtles and bugs. Jerilyn cherished a good debate and loved reading. She was an avid fan of Star Trek, Star Wars, and Marvel Comics. She lived and loved all things Wakanda.
Jerilyn, affectionately known as "Jerry" to family, and “Jeril” to friends, exhibited a God given talent and played piano by ear at an early age. Her father was a professional jazz musician, and her maternal grandmother, “YaYa”, was a church musician. Jerilyn began playing for churches while still in her teens. Jerilyn has been the primary church musician at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church for eighteen years. She helped compose the Progressive Gospel Singers music, wrote lyrics and was instrumental in the production of two CDs. She was also the “Flower Lady” of Progressive’s Pastor’s celebrations--coordinating flowers and balloons with each program’s theme. Jerilyn also played and sang with the gospel group Salt of the Earth and in 2007 she was implemental in establishing Jericho Church of All Nations in Osceola, Indiana.
Jerilyn is survived by her mother, Eleanor (Maury/Bridges) Douglas of Pascagoula, Mississippi; sisters: Joycelyn (Robert) Walters of Newport News, Virginia, Jacquelyn (Wilson) Mosley of Columbia, South Carolina, and Rosalyn Kaye Bridges of Memphis, Tennessee; and brothers: Roger (Caroline) Bridges of Los Angeles, California, Roderick Bridges of Atlanta, Georgia, and Justin (Taiya) Wright of Pascagoula, Mississippi; and paternal uncles: Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Bridges of Houston, Texas, and Mr. Jesse Bridges, Jr. of Lawton, Oklahoma.
Jerilyn was preceded in death by her father, Olon Bridges; her sister, Juandalyn LaFaye Bridges; her maternal grandparents Virgil Maury, Sr. and Fannie Jones Maury; her paternal grandparents, Hulda and Jesse D. Bridges Sr.
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