ALTHOUGH SIDNEY Riddick Bridges was known as a distinguished dentist who wanted to help the needy get the same quality care as the wealthy, he was also a man of many talents and interests.
An accomplished photographer, he captured the beauty of Fairmount Park, the Wissahickon Valley, Boathouse Row and other famous Philadelphia scenic delights, as well as the landscape of the human face.
He enchanted friends and family with his work, and also exhibited at local art venues, including the October Gallery, which featured the work of African-American artists.
Sidney Bridges, former president of the Philadelphia County Dental Society, and emeritus member of the Northeast Regional Board of Dental Examiners, died Dec. 1 of complications of Alzheimer's disease. He was 81 and lived in Wynnefield.
"A man of subtlety and few words, he was strong in spirit and deed," his family said. "He was committed to ensuring that persons of modest means had access to outstanding dental care."
Among his honors were the Community Service Award from the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, the Community Service Award from St. Thomas Episcopal Church, and the Legion of Honor Award from the Chapel of the Four Chaplains.
Sidney was born in Philadelphia to Sidney and Molly Riddick Bridges. He graduated with honors from Northeast High School and won a four-year scholarship to Temple University.
He was part of a selective program that permitted outstanding students to matriculate through two years of concentrated undergraduate work in science and move directly into graduate medical programs.
He graduated from Temple University's School of Dentistry in 1954, and entered the Air Force. He was stationed at in Chaumont, France, where he practiced dentistry. He attained the rank of captain.
Returning home, he opened his dental practice in West Philadelphia and practiced there for 50 years before his retirement in 2006.
Active in his community, Sidney served on the boards of the Big Brothers Association, Parkside YMCA, Citizens for the Improvement of Justice, and the Wynnefield Residents' Association.
He is survived by his wife, the former Joyce A. Winfrey; a son, Sidney Edward Bridges, and a daughter, Sheila Anne Bridges.