Stillwater News Press

May 16, 2013

Charlotte Bridge Gruhlkey

Stillwater NewsPress

— Charlotte Bridge Gruhlkey, 91, went home to be with Jesus on May 16, 2013, with her family by her side. Services have been entrusted to the care of Palmer Marler Funeral Home and a funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18, 2013, at Palmer Marler Funeral Home of Stillwater and  burial will follow at  Mt. Hope Cemetery in Ripley.  Public visitation will be held from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday with the family greeting friends from 6-8 p.m.  

Charlotte was born Jan. 30, 1922, the first of  four children at six-mile corner, Mangum, to Harry and Florence Van Ausdall. Charlotte attended Ozark Public Schools. In 1938, she married Ray LeRoy Bridge in Plainview, Texas. Charlotte and LeRoy had three beautiful children. They lived in Hollis where she was employed at Taylors Department Store. They moved to Stillwater in January 1962. Charlotte went to work for Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine and retired from OSU as the veterinary pharmacy supervisor in 1984. She lost the love of her life, LeRoy, on April 11, 1972.  In 1973 she married Joseph Richard Gruhlkey. Richard died on Nov. 23, 2009, after many wonderful years together.

Charlotte loved “her” OSU Cowboys and spent endless hours watching games and talking on the phone to various people to discuss the details of each play.  Charlotte suffered a heart attack while watching the OSU basketball team play in the 2004 Final Four.  She refused to leave her home until the game was over because she knew that the emergency room doctors would interrupt the broadcast with their petty tests and examinations.  She was a true fan.

She was obsessed with her hair and her friends and family hair as well.  Charlotte was meticulous about her appearance.  She got a perm as often as possible and she put on her makeup every day of her life.  She enjoyed shopping, but was never happier than when she was surrounded by her friends and family. She was a devoted member of Southside Baptist Church and Eagle Heights Baptist Church in Stillwater. She spent many years singing in her church choir and teaching Sunday school and Bible studies.  She was a stubborn and opinionated woman who was truly easy to love.  Her feisty and independent demeanor made her a favorite resident at both Sterling House and the Renaissance of Stillwater and her family wishes to thank the wonderful caregivers whom Charlotte loved dearly. The family would also like to thank the staff and nurses at Good Shepherd Hospice for making Charlotte’s last days some of her best days.

Charlotte faced many hardships and losses in her life but the most devastating was the sudden loss of her son Bobby in 1999.  She faced life’s challenges with the utmost grace and with unwavering faith in the Lord.  Charlotte Bridge Gruhlkey was an amazing mother, a caring grandmother, a dedicated Christian and a loyal friend.  She will be missed by all who knew her.

She is survived by two daughters, Brenda Williams and her husband Jerry, Burleson, Texas, and Donna Wehr Moreland and husband Carl, Stillwater; five grandchildren, Brent Bridge (Lisa), Leland, Miss.; Cheryl Brown (Danny), Orlando, Fla.; Stacey Sutton, Burleson, Texas; Steven Williams (Lauren) Dallas, Texas; Shelli Smith (Scott), Piedmont;  one brother, Harry Van Ausdall Jr., Silver City, N.M.  In  addition, she has 11 great-grandchildren and two great-greatgrandchildren  plus five step children.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Florence Van Ausdall; husband Ray LeRoy Bridge,  a son, Robert “Bobby” Rhea Bridge; great grandson Chase Scott Smith; brother Donald Van Ausdall; sister Joy Rollins; and  husband Joseph Richard Gruhlkey.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made in Charlotte’s name to Good Shepherd Hospice of Tulsa or to the Eagle Heights Baptist Church Building Fund.

Condolences may be sent to the family via an online guestbook at or on Facebook at