Darwin Arthur Bridgland

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Darwin Arthur Bridgland was born December 24, 1920 on the family farm in Nance County, NE, the son of Arthur Paul and Dora Elizabeth (Taylor) Bridgland. Darwin attended rural School District 50 near North Star, NE through the 8th grade--the same school that his father attended and his two oldest children began their education. He later studied technical drafting in Omaha, NE before returning to the family farm.


On Sept. 3, 1942, he entered the US Army at Ft. Crook, NE and received Basic and Advanced Ordnance training at Camp Roberts, CA. On Friday, Aug. 13, 1943, he set sail for Australia and the Pacific Theater of World War II. He served with the 622nd Ordnance Company, providing support for various Marine Corps units on New Guinea, New Britian, the Phillipines and ultimately Japan. He attained the rank of Sergeant (Ammunition Specialist) and received three Battle Citations and a Meritorious Service Award. He was discharged on December 5, 1945 at Ft. Logan, CA.


He returned to his farm near Fullerton, NE after stopping in Denver, CO to visit his life-long love, Lucy Marie Cox. On Nov. 30, 1947, he and Lucy were united in marriage in St. Edward, NE. They were blessed with three children and 63 years of marriage. 


The couple farmed near Fullerton, NE until 1956 when they moved to rural Benson, MN to farm until retiring in 1980. Upon retiring, Darwin and Lucy discovered a love of golf, joining the Benson Golf Club where Darwin helped build the “back nine” holes. They also wintered in La Feria, TX for 29 years. Throughout his life, Darwin greatly enjoyed traveling, exploring nearly all of the United States and Canada west of the Mississippi (with a boyhood friend in his youth, then with his family, and after retiring, just he and Lucy). In October of 2011 he added Washington D.C. to his list on a WW II “Honor Flight” with his son, Paul.


Darwin and Lucy were members of First Evangelical Free Church in Benson. He also enjoyed bowling, puzzles, playing cards and visiting with his many friends. Darwin especially loved his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was called from this life on Sunday, July 26, 2020. He attained the age of 99 years, 7 months and 2 days. 


Darwin is survived by his children: LoAnn (Tom) Hagen of Benson, Paul (Marilyn) Bridgland of Marshall, and Leroy (Gloria) Bridgland of Hopkins; five grandchildren: Wanda (Jason) Huettl, Maggie Hart, Darwin (special friend Kim Hessian) Bridgland, Stefanie Bridgland, Daniel Bridgland and granddaughter-in-law Krista Hagen; seven great grandchildren: Tracy and Tyler Huettl, Noah Hagen, Ashlee, Jack, Claryssa, and Jonathan Hart; three sisters-in-law Barbara Bridgland of Benson, MN, Donna Mae Bennett of Cedar Rapids, NE, and Carol Cox of Grand Island, NE; and numerous other relatives and friends. 


Preceding him in death were his wife, Lucy; his parents; brother Edward Bridgland and grandson Wayne Hagen.

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