Clarence "Salty" Bridgman
Ardmore - Funeral services for Clarence "Salty" Bridgman, 95, will be held Monday afternoon, February 22, 2021, at the Harvey-Douglas Centennial Chapel with Reverend Donny Custar officiating. Private family interment will be held at Provence Cemetery. Due to the Covid-19, those in attendance please wear a face covering and practice social distancing.
Clarence Claude "Salty" Bridgman, 95, died February 11, 2021 at his Ardmore home.
Salty was born August 24, 1925 in Lebanon, Oklahoma the son of the late William Henry and Gurtie Fetna Elliott Bridgman.
Not many knew Salty by his given name. An uncle who came to meet the new baby dubbed him a "salty dog" and the name forever stuck. He was raised on a farm with his parents and 9 siblings. His father took him out of school as a 3rd grader to work the family farm. Though he never finished formal education, one would never know it. He took great pride in a job well done and made a good living for his family.
He married in June of 1945 to Margaret and they had one daughter, Donna, born in August of 1946. He loved them deeply calling them "his girls" anytime he spoke of them. He carried a card with a lipstick kiss that Margaret gave him while dating and enjoyed showing it off. It was worn on the edges and soft to the touch with much handling over the last 75 years. He and Donna had an especially close father/daughter relationship. He would wake and feed her early in the mornings as a baby before work and she was a constant tagalong as a young girl. During her teenage years, he would fuss about all of the charges she made at the local grocery for pop and pie, but he enjoyed spoiling her and thus continued the pop and pie purchases.
Salty had a tender heart often tearing up when telling stories about those he loved or at a sad scene in an old western movie. His personal favorite was Shane with Alan Ladd. He could watch those "shoot 'em ups" featuring John Wayne, Audie Murphy, Ben Johnson or Gene Autry one right after the other.
Salty never met a stranger. He enjoyed sharing his favorite stories with everyone he met. Some of his favorites were: dancing with Dolly Parton (twice), being an extra in a movie with Tanya Tucker and Glen Campbell, striking out Satchel Paige, and owning a horse that was sent to California to be in movies.
He was quite the natural athlete. As a young adult, he was sitting in the stands waiting to watch a baseball game. When the pitcher didn't show up, the team asked if anyone in the stands could pitch. Salty said, "I can". He could indeed pitch and spent many years pitching for the Ardmore Cardinals a semi-pro team. Salty also liked to bowl. He was quite good at that as well, having bowled a 300 game and winning numerous tournaments. His biggest win was a brand new pickup in 1973. In addition to baseball and bowling, he could sure shoot pool and play pinball. Just as in his work, Salty took great pride in being an excellent competitor.
Salty also enjoyed fishing on Hickory Creek and raising a large garden. Not a weed was to be found amongst all the vegetables. Many were the recipients of his sweet onions, tomatoes, corn, and okra.
In later years Salty enjoyed the Friday night dances, making pecan pies for friends, taking drives to the old home place, and was a weekly regular at Smokin' Joes BBQ in Davis and at Willy Otis's Catfish place.
He is survived by his granddaughters Susie Bible and Mary Hill; great grandchildren; Tess Bible; Lewis Bible and wife Erica; Joseph Bible; Ryan Hill and wife Rachel and his son-in-law Thomas Berryhill. He was preceded in death by parents, wife Margaret; daughter Donna Berryhill; brothers, William, Paul, Junior, Jess, Donald and J.D. Bridgman, and sisters, Vera Blackwell; Mary Muncrief and Melba Tyner.
Salty was a wonderful man…honest, loyal, generous, and a man of his word. He will be missed greatly.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to the National Kidney Foundation, www.kidney.org.
Services are entrusted to Harvey-Douglas Funeral Home and Crematory where words of comfort and condolences may be left for the family at www.hdouglasfuneralhome.com.
Posted online on February 17, 2021