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Dr. Mellena "Mell" BridgesSeptember 6, 1948 ~ November 2, 2017 (age 69)
Dr. Mellena (Mell) Bridges passed away on November 2, 2017 surrounded by her family. Born to Dr. Mercer Bridges and Ellen Bridges on September 6, 1948 in Bainbridge, GA, she spent her early years in New York City. The family relocated to Augusta, GA, in 1959.
After finishing her undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia, which included a year studying abroad at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, Mell returned to New York City to earn her MFA in film at NYU. Mell stayed in New York after receiving her MFA and worked as an editor on documentary and feature films. During this time, she met her future husband, Gregory. As punk and New Wave swept onto the city’s music scene in the late 70’s and early 80’s, they joined a drummer friend to form a three-piece band, Pi, which played many of the city’s downtown art rock clubs and outdoor shows. Mell co-wrote the band’s songs, played guitar, and sang lead.
Always eager to learn, Mell enrolled at Hunter College in New York and began taking math and science courses. This culminated in completion of her pre-med requirements, prompting another move south in 1987 to enter the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) when she was 39 years old. Her daughters Zoe and Hanna were born while Mell continued her medical training at MCG.
After completing her radiology fellowship in body imaging at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, Dr. Bridges accepted a position at UF Health Shands and moved to Jacksonville, FL. In 2000, she began a 17-year career at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, where she pioneered the Radiology Department’s Body MRI practice, lectured, taught, and authored or co-authored multiple radiology text books. Dr. Bridges was a fierce advocate for women in medicine and an avid San Francisco Giants fan. She loved playing electric guitar and going on long runs through her neighborhood.
Dr. Bridges is survived by her husband of 34 years, Gregory; her daughters, Zoe and Hanna; her son-in-law, Matthew; her sister, Celia; her brother, Truett; and many beloved colleagues. She is predeceased by her father and mother, Mercer and Ellen Bridges.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 PM, Saturday, January 13, 2018 at Saint John’s Cathedral in Jacksonville, FL. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Cathedral Arts Project or Volunteers in Medicine.