Eveleth W. Bridgman Jr., 75, land preservationist

December 23, 2003|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

Eveleth Wilson "Pete" Bridgman Jr., a former Baltimore advertising executive and land preservationist, died of heart failure Wednesday at Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach, Fla. He was 75.

He rose through the ranks at VanSant Dugdale, starting as a mailroom clerk and eventually becoming senior vice president. He left in 1973 to start his own firm in Annapolis, Bridgman Associates.

A Baltimore native, Mr. Bridgman attended McDonogh School and was a 1944 graduate of City College. He studied at the Johns Hopkins University and Yale University before enlisting in the Army in 1947.

Mr. Bridgman returned to Baltimore in 1948 and began working at VanSant Dugdale.

In 1950, Mr. Bridgman married Marjorie Burwell Murray, and a decade later the couple moved to his family's Anne Arundel County farm, Cedar Park, on the West River.

While living on the farm, Mr. Bridgman became active in land preservation and was an early president of the Chesapeake Environmental Protection Association. He successfully pushed for changes in the routing of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. power lines through Southern Maryland that helped protect farmland and historic landmarks, said a daughter, Sally B. Cheston of Harwood.

Mr. Bridgman's company went bankrupt in 1986, but he continued to work in the advertising business. "Really, he worked the day before he died," Mrs. Cheston said.

His wife died in 1975, and a year later he married Elaine Scott of Kent, England. In 1993, the couple moved to Merritt Island, Fla.

Services were held Sunday at Christ Episcopal Church in West River. The family suggested memorial donations to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Bridgman is survived by two other daughters, Elizabeth B. Bush of Cortland, N.Y., and Anne B. Franke of Harwood; three sons, Eveleth W. Bridgman III of Springfield, Va., Churchill M. Bridgman of Harwood and Peter Scott Bridgman of Atlanta; a stepson, Ray Scott of Merritt Island; a sister, Peggy Schmertzler of Lincoln, Mass.; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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