Former Juneau resident Sally Jo Bridge died Jan. 16, 2008, at Providence Extended Care Center in Anchorage. She was 58.
She was born Nov. 16, 1949, in Anchorage, the second of four children to John Withrow Bridge and Rose Alice "Babs" McDonnell Bridge.
She learned to read at age 3, developing a love for books, learning and languages that she retained throughout her life. According to her family, she was a naturally gifted musician with a powerful voice. She also played clarinet, saxophone, keyboards and autoharp. Her performing talents, coupled with her outrageous sense of humor, kept her family and friends very well entertained throughout her life, they said.
In 1957, the family returned to Haines, where she developed her love of the rural and subsistence lifestyle. Her robust health and strong body made her a natural athlete, and she enjoyed fishing, playing basketball and baseball, and riding her bicycle.
She graduated from Haines High School in 1967 and attended the University of Alaska College from 1967 to 1969. Her adventurous spirit and drive to perform took her to New Mexico with an acting troupe, her family said. She returned to Alaska in 1970 and went to work for Alaska Airlines, launching her career in the travel industry for the next 15 years. She lived in Fairbanks, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Ketchikan and Petersburg. She worked for the Alaska Marine Highway System in Juneau.
After 1986, she spent the next 20 years in Juneau, Elfin Cove, Pelican, Hoonah, Skagway and Haines. During that time she was self-employed as a deck hand on commercial fishing vessels, worked at the post offices, schools, Pelican Seafoods and the Haines Police Department.
She became ill in 2006 and was diagnosed with lung cancer in June of 2007.
She was preceded in death by her father; aunt, Martha Bridge Sanner; and brother-in-law, Chet Koda.
She is survived by her mother; sisters, Suzanne Bridge and her husband, Rick Brown, and Colleen Bridge and her husband, Michael Moeglein; brother, Michael Bridge; uncle, Leo McDonnell; aunt, Katherine Kalweit; nieces, Kelly Horn, Kori Callison, Ashley Bridge and Denali Bridge; and many cousins.
Her cremains will be scattered at the Bridge family cabin in Haines this summer. A memorial gathering was on Jan. 26 at the Anchorage Funeral Home and Crematory.
Memorial donations may be made to Haines Hospice, P.O. Box 1034, Haines, AK, 99827, or to Providence Alaska Foundation for Providence Extended Care Center, P.O. Box 196604, Anchorage, AK 99519-6604.