Mike Bridges.

Mike Bridges.

CRYSTAL LAKE, IL – Michael Bridges, former fleet manager for Liberty AutoCity, a Buick and Jeep franchise, in Libertyville, Ill., died in his sleep of natural causes on Oct. 16, 2011, at his home in Crystal Lake. He was 60.

Bridges was born Nov. 25, 1950, in Evanston, Ill. He was a graduate of Loyola University. He started his automotive career with American Motors Corp. (AMC), working in various positions, notably as the zone fleet manager for Detroit and Chicago and distribution manager.

“During his tenure in Detroit, he was instrumental in helping me win a monumental State of Michigan bid. Subsequently, we worked successfully together, securing other ‘conquest’ accounts. I think he chose to return to Chicago shortly after Chrysler bought AMC,” said Chuck Scharmen, director, Fleet and Commercial Operations for Southfield Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep and Telegraph Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep, and who also worked for AMC prior to its purchase by Chrysler.

The last position held by Bridges with AMC was as distribution manager. In 1987 Bridges joined Liberty Auto City. In September 1996, he became a member of the ChicagoLand Dealers representing the Jeep brand in the group.

Bridges worked at Liberty AutoCity until 2001, when he left the automotive business to move to Ft. Myers, Fla. Several years later, Bridges returned to Illinois following the birth of his grandchildren.

By Mike Antich