Bridgman, Michael Eugene of St. Thomas, passed away suddenly in Lutsel K’e, Northwest Territories on Friday, March 21, 2014, in his 63rd year. Michael is the cherished husband and best friend of Debra Bridgman. Loving father of Chantyle Playford (Bill), and Sarah Hill (Mike), daughters of Marjorie Matthews. Proud grandfather of Billy, Jack and Luke Playford, Kaylee and Paige Hill, and Myles Kosemetzky. Dear brother of Randy Bridgman (Marsha), and uncle of Taylor and Travis Bridgman. Dear cousin of Chris Johnston. Michael gained two sons as a result of his marriage with Debra and will be missed by Michael Kosemetzky (Lisa Pawsons) and Paul Kosemetzky (Stephanie English). He will also be fondly remembered by his mother-in-law Ruth Courtney, brother-in-law N. Gary Thomas and sister-in-law Donna McCullough (Douglas).
Michael was born in St. Thomas on July 6th, 1951, son of the late Arthur L. “Bud” and Betty (Hayman) Bridgman. Mike was retired from Ford Motor Company, Talbotville, where he worked from 1977-2007 as a welder/assembler in chassis and the body shop. Following retirement from Ford, he held positions as an armed driver/guard for G4S Security (2007-2009), and most recently acted as the Community Adult Educator for Aurora College in Lutsel K’e, Northwest Territories (2010 to present). His commitment to his students and the Canadian Rangers in Lutsel K’e was a testament to the loyalty and commitment he brought to all that he did. From 2003-2009 he was Training Officer and then Commanding Officer for the 2884 West Elgin RC Army Cadet Corps, in Rodney, Ontario. Also from 1987-1991 he served as the Troop Commander-Armed Reconnaissance, holding the rank of 2nd Lieutenant Armoured Officer with the Royal Canadian Armed Forces Reserves, Elgin Regiment, St. Thomas. His newest achievement of which he was very proud and honoured to be a part of was being voted as Corporal with the Canadian Rangers Patrol Group (1 CRPG) in Lutsel K’e, N.W.T.
Michael was a lifelong learner and believed in continuing education. He attended the University of Western Ontario while working full time and raising a family, and graduated in 2000 with an Honours BA in Sociology. He has achieved multiple certifications and awards throughout his lifetime, including the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD). One of his passions was the Elgin Military Museum in St. Thomas, Ontario, where his vision laid the groundwork to bring the decommissioned Cold War submarine HMCS Ojibwa from Halifax to Port Burwell as a lasting legacy to be enjoyed for generations.
Resting at Williams Funeral Home, 45 Elgin St., St. Thomas where visitation will be held at the funeral home on Friday, March 28th from 2:00-4:00 p.m., and 7:00-9:00 p.m. and funeral will be held Saturday, March 29th at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, Michael was committed to the preservation and education of military history and would want donations provided to the Elgin Military Museum or Canadian War Amps.