COREA – Our Mother, Grandmother and Friend, to more people than we can count, has passed to a place of peace. Arlene Janice Bridges, died April 23, 2014, surrounded by the love of her family. Born June 20, 1941 in Steuben, she grew up there where she bonded with many cousins who remained lifelong friends.
Arlene can best be described as a person that everyone counted on. Big or small she never said no to a person in need. From turkey dinners for 200 or Sunday dinners for her family, she always served it up with style. Residing in Corea, Maine she was always there for her community. Whether it be a sunshine basket, a ride for a neighbor, final destination in a road rally or just a place to sit and talk things over, she loved to have folks of all ages in for a visit. Arlene was a caregiver and companion for The Albrights of Corea for many years. Often sacrificing family time to be able to provide for her children. After that she had a restaurant at her house. People came to Corea for her homemade cooking and amazing blueberry pies. She enjoyed the early morning camaraderie of the fishermen while she made her daily preparations. For many years she ran the galley for The Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company where she was affectionately known as MaMa Bridges. She always kept the crew in line with her salty words and ways. Her winter time passion was selling scallops and seeing all her regulars, a joy for her that continued right through this past winter.
Arlene will be remembered as a storyteller, caregiver, neighbor, friend and amazing mother. Her greatest joy in life was spending time with her children and grandchildren. Much like the keeper of a lighthouse she was the keeper of her community of friends and loved ones. Her legacy will be her salty rough exterior but her soft and giving heart.
She is predeceased by her parents, Orrin and Esther Whitaker, her two babies, Timothy and Baby Bridges and her beloved son-in-law, John Mckenzie. She is survived by her children who will carry her bravery and love in their hearts: Brenda Bridges Rice and partner, John Boucher, Bryan Bridges and spouse, Pamela; Barbara Bridges Courchesne and spouse, Mark. Together her children provided her with the greatest joys of her life: Her grandchildren, Thomas, Jeffrey, Danielle, Ryan, Samantha, Jacob, Cassidy and great-grandchildren, Jayden, Jenna, Christopher, Brennan and Bailey. She is also survived by her lifelong love, Thomas “Tommy Tide” Bridges. Her brother, Daniel Whitaker and spouse, Lisa; nephew, Ethan Whitaker and spouse, Jessica. She also enjoyed a special relationship with her nephew, Tyler Whitaker and fiancée, Hannah Burnette.
Her family wishes to thank the team of doctors, nurses and caregivers who often wondered how she tolerated her disease but respected her wishes and provided her care per her instructions. In particular we wish to thank the nurses and staff at Mary Dow, second floor at MCMH and Narraguagus Bay.
Per Arlene’s request there will be no public service, but a small gathering of family to place her ashes in Corea Harbor. It was her unselfish way and she didn’t want any fuss. She will be sadly and deeply missed. Donations in her memory may be made to The Mary Dow Center at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital.