Annie Mae (Wharton) Bridges

January 21, 1917 ~ April 6, 2022 (age 105)


THe service for Mrs. Bridges will be live streamed on the Facebook Page of Fisher Memorial Funeral Parlor.

Mrs. Annie Mae Wharton Bridges of Durham, NC, peacefully departed from this life, April 6, 2022.

A viewing will be held Friday, April 15th 1:00- 6:00 p.m. at Fisher Memorial Funeral Parlor, 3137 Fayetteville Street, Durham, NC 27707.  

Mrs. Anne Bridges’ funeral will be a closed casket celebration, to be held at her home church, St Titus Episcopal Church, 400 Moline Drive, Durham NC 27707. 

In keeping with church restrictions, limited space and best health care practices, attendance will be limited to family and relatives.  Face masks are required.  The funeral will be held Saturday, April 16th at 2:00 p.m. and will be live streamed by on the Facebook Page of Fisher Memorial Funeral Parlor.

Due to COVID restrictions, there will not be a repass to follow the service.

In memory of Mrs. Anne M. Bridges, donations may be made to St Titus Episcopal Church’s Racial Reckoning, Justice, and Healing Initiative in lieu of flowers.


Mrs. Annie Mae Wharton Bridges passed away on the evening of April 6, 2022, at the age of 105, following a brief illness.  Born January 21, 1917, in Winston Salem, NC she was the oldest child of Fletcher Decatur (F.D.) and Annie Melissa Harris Wharton and “Sister” to her brother Ferdinand (Fred) and sister, Juanita (Neet).  Her father was a college professor and agricultural extension agent, and her mother also was an educator before becoming a homemaker. 

Growing up, Annie Mae’s father, an avid tennis player, taught her and her siblings to play tennis, while their mother made sure that they learned to play the piano.   As a child, Annie Mae and her family lived in Arkansas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma.  It was in Oklahoma where she completed high school and her first year of college at Langston University.  She moved with her family back to NC where she continued her education at North Carolina A & T University, her parents’ alma mater. While in college Annie Mae developed a love for music and honed her musical talents singing in the University choir and a‘Capella choir, and performing on stage. Her love for music continued throughout her life.  She was often asked to sing at weddings, funerals, and other special occasions. 

Annie Mae completed her B.S. degree in 1939 and went on to complete post graduate studies at North Carolina Central University and Ohio State University.  Following in her parents’  footsteps, she began her career in education, teaching high school home economics in Lumberton, NC.  Young and enthusiastic, Annie Mae was an inspiring and beloved educator to her students, known for her grace, style and her deep commitment to excellence.  As a result, she became a highly acclaimed educator, receiving both state and national awards. For several years she served on the NC State Home Economics Advisory Council.

While teaching in Zebulon, NC she met the love of her life, John Roberson Bridges, a handsome young soldier and pilot from Durham, NC.  They married in July 1950 and moved to Ft.  Jackson, SC, where their first child, Annita Marie was born.  When John was reassigned to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Silver Spring, MD, Annie Mae and Annita moved to Tarboro, NC with her parents while waiting to join her husband.  Annie Mae gave birth to their second child, Sheila Jonnese, while in NC before joining her husband in Silver Springs, MD.  When John received orders to go to Germany in 1960, Annie Mae knew the adventure had begun!

The family spent three years in Germany, before returning to the states in 1964, John was assigned to a duty station at Ft. Devens, MA, a military base 35 miles from Boston.  With the girls in school, Anne, as she came to be called, decided to go back to her career teaching home economics at the local Jr.-Sr. High School in the neighboring town of Ayer.  When John retired from the military in 1969, after 24 years of service to his country, John and Anne decided to make their home in Ayer.  John had started a successful trucking company, Anne was teaching, and the family settled into a comfortable life in Ayer where their daughters completed their high school education before leaving for college and graduate school. 

Today, Annita is an attorney in Oklahoma City, OK.  She and her husband have two daughters and three granddaughters.  Sheila, a retired professor and speech-language pathologist, resides in Durham, NC with her husband, King “Kenny” P. Bond, Jr.

In 1986 John and Anne retired and returned to their home state of North Carolina, making their home in John’s hometown of Durham, where Anne’s sister Neet and her husband Thomas, and John’s oldest daughter, Caroline Privette and her family all lived. Prior to her retirement Caroline worked in education.   Anne and John enjoyed spending time with Caroline and her growing family of grand and great grandchildren.

Avid travelers, John and Anne were often joined by Neet and her husband Thomas on road trips that took them throughout the continental US and Canada. 

Throughout her life, Anne continued to enjoy listening to music, going to live performances and movies, sight-seeing, dining out, mall shopping, and especially spending time with family.  She was a faithful member of St. Titus Episcopal Church in Durham for 36 years, and served on the Church’s AIDs Care Team and Benevolent Committee for many years.

Anne Bridges was preceded in death by her loving husband, John Roberson, her parents, Fletcher Decatur Wharton and Annie Melissa Harris Wharton, and her brother, Ferdinand “Fred” Decatur Wharton.  She leaves to cherish her memory, daughters Annita M. Bridges (Robert H. Alexander, Jr.), Sheila Bridges-Bond, (King “Kenny” Bond, Jr.), and Caroline Privette;  sister, Juanita Wharton Taylor; grandchildren, Blayne Alexander Bailey,(James “Jay”), Blake Bridges-Vandewalker (Amy Bridges Vandewalker), Ricardo D. Privette (Tanella), Natalie Privette-Jones (Danny), Joycelyn R. Privette, and Cher-Rhonda P. Williams (Sheldon); eleven great grandchildren, including the newest, Sage Milan Bailey; and a host of great-great grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. 


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Annie, please visit our floral store.


April 15, 2022

1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Fisher Memorial Funeral Parlor
3137 Fayetteville Street
Durham, NC 27707

Funeral Service
April 16, 2022

2:00 PM
Saint Titus Episcopal Church
400 Moline Street
Durham, NC 27707

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