Ben Ford Bridges, M.D.
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FORT WORTH - Ben Ford Bridges, 93, of Fort Worth, Texas, passed away July 31, 2019, after a brief illness. He was born on September 14, 1925, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Dr. Ford Evans and Ina Mae Bridges.
Ben attended Tulsa, Oklahoma, public schools and was a graduate of Tulsa Central High. His pre-medical education was completed at the University of Tulsa. He was a graduate of Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Texas, in 1947. His Internship was completed at the UT Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, in 1948. Ben then trained with the National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis at Los Angeles County Hospital and completed a fellowship in treatment of poliomyelitis patients, primarily at Hillcrest Memorial Hospital in Tulsa. His first year of residency in internal medicine was at the University of Alabama Medical Center, Birmingham, Alabama. It was shortened by the Korean Conflict, during which he served in the 2789th Hospital Squadron as an Air Force Captain from 1951-53. He then completed his last two years of residency at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas, from 1953-55. It was there Ben met his ""Dottie"" on a blind date, and they married in 1954.
Dottie and Ben moved to Tyler, Texas, in 1955 where he was in private practice for 30 years in internal medicine. He then moved his practice to UTHSC in Tyler, becoming Professor of General Medicine, assisting in the development of the Family Practice Residency for nine years. Afterwards, he returned to practice in the Trinity Clinic until retirement in 2005.
Ben was active in community affairs, serving on multiple boards and committees, primarily in the medical field. He was past president of both Mother Frances Hospital and Medical Center Hospital medical staffs. The Smith County Medical Society honored him as its first Golden Headed Cane Award recipient. He also received the Doc Ballard Award from the Northeast Texas Public Health Department and the Doctor Luke Award from Bethesda Clinic. The Ben Bridges, MD Endowment Fund at UTHSC Tyler is in his honor. He is a past member of the Vestry of Christ Episcopal Church of Tyler, where his ashes will be interned in the Memorial Garden Columbarium.
His wife Dorothy Baird Bridges, daughter Amy Bridges Glasgow and her husband Walter, son James Ford Bridges and his wife Courtenay and grandchildren Sam and Claire Bridges survive Ben. His parents Dr. Ford E. and Ina Mae Bridges, and brother Jack H. Bridges preceded Ben in death.
Dr. Bridges had many appointments and memberships, which included Diplomat of American Board of Internal Medicine and Past President of the East Texas Academy of Internal Medicine, along with being a member of the American College of Physicians, Texas Medical Association and Smith County Medical Society. He also served on the boards of Stewart (Carter) Blood Bank, Cancer Foundation for Life, Northeast Texas Public Health Department, and Bethesda Clinic. During the last years of his retirement, he conducted research on the history of medicine in Smith County, Texas.
A reception honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Bridges will be held at the Parish Hall of Christ Episcopal Church in Tyler on August 16, 2019, at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to UTHSC Tyler in memory of Ben Ford Bridges, M.D.
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph from Aug. 16 to Sep. 15, 2019.
Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
September 20, 2019
Dr. Bridges was a great doctor. I was blessed to have him as a doctor. He was also my mom, and dad's doctor. I went to a dentist, where I filled out a card and it ask who your primary physician was. I wrote down Dr. Ben Bridges. The dentist said to me, "I thought you had to be someone to have Dr. Bridges as a doctor, which speaks highly of him. He will certainly be missed, but we know without a shadow of a doubt that Dr. Bridges is in the arm of Jesus. He not only listed to his patients, he also cared.
Virginia Ilgenfritz
September 5, 2019
Elaine Fitzgerald, RN
September 5, 2019
I met Dr Bridges in his first year's at UT Hospital, where he was my husband's physician. He remained his doctor, until my husband passed away in 1995; by then he had become my doctor and played a role in my becoming a nurse as well. I know there are a lot of well trained and great physicians today, because Dr. Bridges took them as interns under his wing. I loved watching him tote his little black medical bag from patient to patient, as though it held something magical therein. And it did: the skill in the way he used each and every implement it held. I teased him with remarks like, "You look like Charlie Chaplin, toting mystical wonders in that bag." At which he would answer, "Just a bunch of medical tools. I tote them because I don't want to lose them." He had a dry but witty sense of humor. He was loved by all who knew him.
Our prayers go to his family and loved ones. You were blessed, as were we, to have known Ben Bridges. He shall be missed.
Elaine Fitzgerald, RN
August 30, 2019
Prayers for your family. Dr. Bridges was our neighbor and he loved to share time with the children in the neighborhood. My son would go over to help him plant his flowers.
Tracye Cravens
August 23, 2019
Rest well Dr.Bridges ,your job on this earth was well done.
Linda Williams
August 18, 2019
Greatest man and Doctor I have ever known. Loved working for this great man
Linda Bryant
August 18, 2019
Greatest man and Doctor I have ever known. I loved working for this man as his nurse. Job well don Dr Bridges
Linda Bryant
August 18, 2019
Amy, I just saw that your father had passed.
May you all be comforted with memories filled with laughter, silliness, and love.
Dana Zeppa Schubert
August 17, 2019
Dr. Bridges cared for my grandmother throughout her life. I met him as a teenager as well as an adult when we worked at Trinity Mother Frances.My entire family admired and loved him for the excellent medical care and manner in which he treated us during a time when my race was neglected and treated badly in attempts to obtain medical care.
Rest in peace,you lived a great life giving to others most in need.
Jean Coleman ,family of Curley Carpenter.
Ervin Jean Coleman
August 16, 2019
May God bless you family. He was a. Great doctor. We had a lot of his patients on 2WC And 2 North. Pat Anderson RN
Pat Anderson
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