Mary Frances Drinkard Bridges, mother of long-time walking horse owner and exhibitor, Marla Lovett, was born March 14, 1934, to Guy Harvel and Thelma Petrey Drinkard. She was a native of Troy, Alabama, and resided in Mobile. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Ray D. “Sonny” Bridges, Jr., who passed away in 2014, and her stepfather Jerome E. Anderson.

A graduate of Murphy High School, Huffstutler Business College, American Airlines Travel Agents School, Dallas, Texas, and continuing education through the University of South Alabama, Mrs. Bridges was co-owner of Sun-Ray Food Stores, Inc., Meat Distributing Company, Inc., president of Bridges to the World, Inc., and worked for American International Travel, Discount Travel, and Compass Travel, Inc.

She was a former member of the Mobile Chamber of Commerce serving on the Education and Military Affairs Committees where she worked to acquire funds to build the present Chamber of Commerce building. Bridges was appointed by Governor George C. Wallace as an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel, Aide De Camp, and was a past president of the Mobile Chapter of Freedoms Foundation; past president of several parent-teacher associations; and an advisor for the Business Office Education Program with the Mobile County School System.

Frances traveled to 58 countries around the globe as a travel consultant, served as a member of the Regional Goals Forum for the City of Mobile, served two terms as president of the Mobile Power Squadron Auxiliary, and on the board of the Mobile-Baldwin Counties Commission of the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution in 1976. She was active in political sphere and served as campaign chairman for several local candidates including her late father-in-law, Mobile County Sheriff Ray D. Bridges, Sr., and served as president of the Mobile County Sheriff’s Posse Auxiliary.

Bridges was a longtime member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Mobile where she served as a Sunday School teacher, lay reader, member of prayer and care, a member of the Daughters of the King, Greeter Committee, and Episcopal Church Women’s group.

She is survived by her five children: Marla Bridges Irby Lovett (Richard) of Mobile; Ray D. “Sonny” Bridges, III, (Melissa) of Lakewood Ranch, Florida; Lisa Bridges Harrison (John) of Madison, Mississippi; Thomas Guyer Bridges (Donna) of Hattiesburg, Mississippi; and Tracy Baron Bridges of Sarasota, Florida; thirteen grandchildren: William Ty “Marty” Irby, Jr., Mary Catherine Harrison-Martin, Miles Bridges Irby, Michael Sullivan Bridges, John Mitchell Harrison, Elizabeth Kirby Reckewey, Jordan Bridges Oldham, Parker Davis Harrison, Samantha Kate Bridges, Andrew Davis Bridges, Olivia Bridges Noblitt, David Ryan Bridges, Christopher A. Lovett, and nine great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at Pine Crest Cemetery Chapel in Mobile, Alabama, on Saturday, January 20, 2024, with visitation from 10:00 – 11:00 AM CST and service at 11:00 AM CST. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials or contributions be made to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 1050 Azalea Road, Mobile, Alabama, 36693 or