Charlie J. Bridges, 84 of Lakeland, passed away peacefully on January 14, 2020 surrounded by family.
CJ was born October 19, 1935 in Lumber City, Georgia to William and Ada Bridges. He served our country in the Naval Reserve and was a worker for the former Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. He started CJ Bridges Railroad Contractor Inc. in 1978 in Mulberry and grew the company to be one of the most successful family owned railroad design, construction and maintenance businesses in Florida and the southeastern United States.
The generous Southern gentleman felt most comfortable being with his large extended family, either at home in Lakeland or at the condo on Sand Key. His other great passion was fishing for large mouth bass and speckled perch, which after his retirement and weather permitting, happened just about every day.
In addition to his parents, CJ was preceded in death by his brothers Eugene and Carl and by his sister Audrey Norris.
CJ is survived by his wife of 64 years Jean Ogle Bridges, three children, Merita DeGennaro (Jim), Jerry Bridges (Debe) and Patti Chauncey (Tommy), six grandchildren and spouses and nine great grandchildren.
Visitation with family will be Friday, January 17, at 10:00 a.m. and a celebration of life service will begin at 11:00 am with burial immediately following at the Lakeland Memorial Gardens Funeral Home located at 2125 Bartow Road, US. Highway 98.
Flowers and condolences may be sent to the funeral home.