Allen Kent Bridges

Allen Kent Bridges

Died November 11, 2008

Allen was born in Los Angeles and graduated from Pasadena High School in 1961. He received his undergraduate degree from Yale in 1967 and his Juris Doctor in 1975 from Southwestern University in Los Angeles.

His undergraduate years were interrupted by service in the U.S. Marine Corps, when he was stationed in Huntsville, AL as part of the HAWK missile training program.

After becoming a member of the California Bar, Allen joined his father, Gerald; his uncle, Claude, and his cousin, Michael in the family law practice, Bridges & Bridges.

When his father’s health declined to the point he was not able to continue practicing law, Allen pursued his passion for teaching and taught math, science and computer science over the next 20 years to middle school students – spending the first 10 years with Curtis School in Los Angeles then joining the staff of The Gooden School in Sierra Madre, CA. Allen died on November 11, 2008 from cirrhosis of the liver and was survived by wife Heather, daughters Frances and Elizabeth and brothers Gerald and James.

In 2012, daughter Frances wrote in her Forbes blog: “My father got diabetes during adulthood. His mismanagement of his diet and not maintaining a certain level of exercise made it a catalyst for his death. His kidneys stopped working. He needed a liver transplant. He had toes amputated. He lost mobility and control of his body slowly, then very fast. It was a tragic plummet from his college days when he used to be called, Golden Bod, and was a member of a top collegiate swim team.

Reading all the advertisements, coupons, blog posts and Hallmark cards for Father’s Day is like carving a hole in my chest with a scalpel. But even though he’s not here, I’d like him to know I miss him, I think about him everyday and that he’s part of who I am.

He was a teacher for over 20 years, and he loved his job. So I decided to write down some of the most important things he taught me, along with a few of my memories of him. My father couldn’t sit on a park bench, in a waiting room, at a bus stop, in a restaurant, etc. without starting a conversation with someone. By the time I’d join him, he’d know the person’s name, the members of their family’s names, where their kids went to school and what sports they played…It was just his nature. He made everyone feel important, and that their lives mattered to him. As a result, Dad had a lot of friends, from busboys to big shot business people. When he died, they all were at his memorial service.”

A year earlier, Frances wrote: “Dad had somehow gotten a hold of a master key to the university that opened literally every door on campus. He unabashedly used it his whole 4 years, and explored the unknown – everything from the underground steam tunnels to the locked precious collections library. He gave it back to Dean Thompson right before he left for the Marines. Whenever my Dad told this story he always laughed and said, ‘I will never forget the look on that son of a bitch’s face!’”