---- — Dawn E. Bridger
COOPERSTOWN — Dawn E. "Debbie" Bridger, a lifelong resident of the village of Cooperstown, died Monday afternoon, March 11, 2013, at the age of 65 at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown.
She was born Dawn Elizabeth Bailey on June 6, 1947, at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown. Her nickname, "Debbie," came as a result of her initials. A daughter of the late Leon J. "Sonny" Bailey and Janet Davidson Bailey, Debbie was raised in the Catholic faith in Cooperstown. She graduated from Cooperstown High School with the Class of 1965. After graduation, she attended and completed studies at Albany Business College. She later took courses in accounting at Herkimer County Community College.
After graduation, she was dedicated to raising her children. In 1976, she began working part time for Cooperstown Central School in the cafeteria at the middle/high school. She then took on full-time employment as an account clerk in 1978 at the school's business office until she retired in 2005.
Throughout her life, Debbie remained devoted to her many friends and family, most especially her grandchildren, Scott and Sarah, whom she greatly loved and adored. She spent as much time as she could with them and always made it a point to attend as many of their activities as she could.
Known affectionately as the cat lady, Debbie possessed a love of animals, especially cats, and with the assistance of her good friend and Linden Avenue neighbor, Ted Lamb, spent a great deal of time capturing feral cats and making sure they were spayed or neutered. This was a mission that Debbie took quite seriously: it is estimated that she took care of almost three dozen cats in her lifetime. Debbie also enjoyed genealogy, and did a lot of research into the Bailey and Davidson families.
Debbie was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by her children, son Stephen W. Bridger of Cooperstown, and daughter Kimberly Feik and her husband, Jeffrey, of Toddsville; her beloved grandchildren, Scott and Sarah Feik; one sister, Barbara Bailey of Albany; one brother, Rich Bailey and his wife, Nancy Ballard, of Cooperstown; one niece, Lindsey Bailey, of Cooperstown; three aunts, Patricia Sheldon and Gladys Davidson of Cooperstown and Joyce Cowles of Poughkeepsie; one uncle, Richard Davidson and his wife, Mary Lou, of Jacksonville, FL; several cousins; and her special friend and caregiver, Susan C. Larsen, of Cooperstown. Debbie is further survived by her cats, Charlie and Fluffy.
Debbie was preceded in death by her parents, Leon J. "Sonny" Bailey, who died Dec. 13, 2003, and Janet D. Bailey, who died May 6, 2012.
Debbie's family received friends at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown on Friday, March 15, 2013.
A funeral service was offered on Friday at the funeral home, with the Rev. Betsy Jay, Chaplain at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, officiating.
The Service of Committal and Burial will be offered later this spring in the Bailey Family Plot in Lakewood Cemetery, Cooperstown.
With respect for Debbie's love of and devotion to cats, please consider a donation in her memory to H.A.L.O. Paw Prints, an organization dedicated to cat rescue, 615 Albany Street, Little Falls, NY 11365 http://www.halorescue.net/, or The Stevens-Swan Humane Society, 5664 Horatio Street, Utica, NY 13502.
Arrangements are under the guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.