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Eddie Leroy "EB" Bridges, Jr.

Eddie Leroy "EB" Bridges, Jr., 77, beloved pillar of our community, peacefully departed his earthly home in Shelby, NC and was welcomed into his Heavenly home on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. He was born in Shelby, NC to the late Eddie Leroy Bridges, Sr. and Opal Earl Bridges on March 28, 1947.

Left to cherish his memory are his daughter, Christina Nicole "Nikki" Haynes (John), his granddaughter, Chelsea Destiana Norris affectionally nicknamed "Chel Chel" by him; siblings Ronald Bridges, Arretta B. Corry (Larry),and Opal B. "Peggy" Washington (Sylvester) and a host of nephews, nieces and other loved ones.

At the age of 4, the love of music began to pulse through the veins of Eddie. While exploring his parents' cellar, he discovered a phonograph and began tinkering with 78-inch records while often wearing out needles quicker than his parents could replace them. After graduating from high school in 1965, he was accepted into college but instead decided to valiantly enlist in the United States Navy serving from July 1965 to July 1968 during the Vietnam War. Eddie received the Navy Unit Commendarion Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device. While operating a reel-to-reel recorder on the second largest naval ship, one of his superiors overheard him practicing, and asked him to conduct a standing 2-hour disc jockey set to boost the troops' morale which further steered him towards broadcasting. This led him to complete his broadcasttraining degee at the Carolina School of Broadcasting in 1971. After graduation and conclusion of his time with the Naval Reserves, he secured a position at the WXIK and WOHS AM/FM radio stations as the first African American DJ in Cleveland County. He also owned and disc jockeyed at his disco club, the Other Side in Shelby, designed for the entertainment of youth in a safe and fun environment.

Eddie called WOHS his second home before relocating to 1180 WFGN in Gaffney, SC in 1987. He purchased the radio station and started Hope Broadcasting, Incorporated in 1990. As CEO and President of 1180 WFGN, Eddie switched the music format to Gospel/Christian and partnered with the late C. Montgomery and late Rev. Eula Miller.Eddie made history as a pioneering founder and owner of 1180 WFGN of Hope Broadcasting, Inc., the first African American-owned and longest operating radio station in Cherokee County, SC. 1180 WFGN became a cornerstone for racial equality, community and youth empowerment, and cultural pride.

Another highlight of Eddie's broadcasting career has been interviewing well-known celebrities. His career flourished which was a testament to his hard work and immeasurable dedication that has spanned more than 55 years.

He was recognized for his commitment to the betterment of our youth through scholarships that he awarded to the United Negro College Fund and Cherokee County Schools. He was also an honoree of the Cleveland County Business Development Center, Inc., The Shelby Star, The Keys of Harmony Gospel Singers, The Mentoring Connection of the Cherokee County School District, and more. Serving as a member of the Cleveland County Business and Professional Association, Washington Missionary Baptist Church boards, NAACP; chairman of the Vision Baptist Cathedral's Male Pyramid Program 503c Board and other organizations was a true honor for him.In addition to Eddie's work as an on-air personality, he thrived as a sought after Master of Ceremonies for hundreds of functions over the past several decades.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, June 9, 2024, at 3:30 p.m. at Shoal Creek Baptist Church. Burial will be in Washington Missionary Baptist Church cemetery. Enloe Mortuary is in charge of services.

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