Bridges, who lived in Sanford most of his life, was elected to the commission in 2005 in a special election representing District 4. He was re-elected in 2007 without opposition.
He was born in Sebring on Nov. 14, 1946. After attending school in Sanford, where he worked at the Ritz Theater throughout his teenage years, he attended the University of Florida, where he studied law.
He had a successful law practice in Sanford, where he had recently retired after more than 35 years.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and son, Troy.
Mayor Linda Kuhn, who served alongside Bridges as well as being a longtime friend of his, said she could always count on Bridges for wise counsel and a good joke.
Many knew Bridges for his colorful commentary during the commission meetings, and his ability to speak truthfully and openly about difficult issues.
“We have lost a treasured member of our city commission,” said Kuhn. “Jack had an uncanny ability to get to the heart of any matter and guide the city commission through some its most difficult discussions.”
Even throughout his illness, Bridges stayed focused on his duty to the city. Interim city manager Tom George, who visited Bridges in the hospital Monday, said he was discussing the city budget and commission decisions from his bed.
“He was a pleasure to work with,” said George. “He was totally committed to the City of Sanford.”
Arrangements for Bridges’ funeral are pending. City staffers are in discussion with the city attorney to determine what will happen with the commission seat. The city commission will be briefed at the April 12 meeting.