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Published: Monday, 7/14/2014 - Updated: 4 months ago

Ann Calaway Bridgman, 1930-2014: Artist returned to craft in retirement

BY KATHLEEN ASHCRAFT
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Bridgman Bridgman
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Ann Calaway Bridgman, a dedicated member of the Toledo Artist Club, the Athena Art Society, and the Northwest Ohio Watercolor Society, died July 10 in her Toledo home near Franklin Park Mall. She was 83.

At the time of her death, Mrs. Bridgman was suffering from congestive heart failure, COPD, and kidney failure, said her daughter. Her exact cause of death is currently unknown.

Mrs. Bridgman was a Toledo native and a graduate of St. Ursula Academy. She attended Miami University and was a proud Tri Delt sorority sister.

“We’ve had tons of calls about her. She was still meeting up with people from St. Ursula and Miami. She was still really busy,” daughter Catherine A. Bridgman said. “Everybody loved my mom.”

After her graduation, Mrs. Bridgman did a great deal of traveling. “She and a couple friends from college spent a summer traveling France,” her daughter said. “She traveled all over the world.”

Mrs. Bridgman worked as an art teacher for Kelly High School in Chicago for a short time before moving on to work for publisher Scott Foresman as an English department editor for 25 years.

Throughout her career, she and her husband, Frances King Bridgman, and their two children, Catherine and Thomas K. Bridgman, lived in Glenview, Illinois, just north of Chicago. Her husband died of multiple sclerosis in 1975, said her daughter.

“My dad died when my brother and I were real young,” her daughter said. “When Tom and I were kids we both played baseball and my mom would run between the baseball diamonds so she could try to watch both games.”

Mrs. Bridgman’‍s daughter, who now has three children of her own, said, “She was a mom and a dad for us. I don’t know how she did it.”

Mrs. Bridgman was born on Aug. 27, 1930, to Cullen P. Calaway and Margret Darby Calaway. She had a sister, Mary Gaspari, with whom she was best friends, said her daughter. The family lived in the Old West End. From their home, Mrs. Bridgman would walk to the Toledo Museum of Art, which was where her passion for art likely began, her daughter said.

“She didn’‍t do a lot of art until she retired,” her daughter said. “When she retired, she came back to where she grew up and picked it up again.”

Mrs. Bridgman’s love of art thrived for years. “We went to France a few years back to take a class on watercolor,” her daughter said. The class was taught by artist Frederick C. Graff.

She had already begun teaching her grandchildren to paint as well, her daughter said. Her watercolors have been put up in the Toledo Museum of Art over the years.

Surviving are her children Thomas K. Bridgman and Catherine A. Bridgman, and her grandchildren Jessica, Dani, and Shane Rodgers.

The family will receive guests on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Newcomer Funeral Home, 4150 W. Laskey Rd. The funeral service will begin at 1 p.m. The interment will be private.

Contact Kathleen Ashcraft at: kashcraft@theblade.com or 419-724-6050.



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