Bridget Sturges Hedges passed away April 20, 2016, in her home in Tustin, Calif., at the age of 68. She died of complications from lung cancer that had metastasized to her brain. She went peacefully in her sleep.
Bridget was born on Aug. 8, 1947, in Baton Rouge, La. She grew up on Convention Street in a very large home in Baton Rouge, which later was turned into a boarding home by Mama Sturges. Like most southern families, Bridget was brought up by her nanny, Big Ma Ma, and always passed on lessons to others that she learned from Big Ma Ma.
Sturges graduated from Bay High School, a boarding school in Mississippi, and went on to work in the Louisiana governor’s office before moving to California in 1973.
Sturges Hedges always thought she had married the three loves of her lives, Don Pecarora in Baton Rouge, who had her name tattooed on his ankle; John Pat Payne in Laguna Beach; and John Hedges in Laguna Beach. But her real loves were her son John Howard Hedges, her daughter Alicia Payne Goss and all the children that were at her day care center. She gave birth to John Howard while briefly married to John Hedges.
A single mother, on her own and wanting to raise John Howard herself, she selflessly opened Country Comfort Child Care in her home on Catalina Street in Laguna Beach. After John Howard moved on to be a peace officer in the city of Tustin, Hedges moved to Tustin to be near him in 2001.
She is survived by her son John Howard Hedges, her daughter Alicia Payne Goss, and all the friends and families she helped raise. Hedges was known by all as a California cosmopolitan woman with southern charm.
There will be a life celebration for all that knew and loved her at 4 p.m. Friday, May 27, at Sleepy Hollow Beach. It’s pot luck so bring those southern dishes she loved.