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Jerauld E. Brydges Sr., 59, of Fourth Street, a reporter, columnist and editor for the Niagara Gazette and member of a widely known family in Niagara County, died Monday (March 27, 1995) in Mount St. Mary's Hospital, Lewiston, after a brief illness.

A native of Niagara Falls, Brydges grew up in Wilson and graduated in 1953 from Wilson High School.

He was a son of the late Eleanor C. Mahoney Brydges and the late Earl W. Brydges Sr., who served in the State Senate from 1949 through 1972 and was majority leader for many years. The Earl W. Brydges Library is named in his honor, and he also was largely responsible for the establishment of Artpark in Lewiston.

Jerauld Brydges, widely known as "Jerry," attended Ithaca College until his education was interrupted by service in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Upon returning from military duty, he attended Niagara University.

He joined the Niagara Gazette in 1960 as a general assignment reporter, becoming an assistant city editor in 1967. He became a full-time columnist in 1982, and he was appointed editor of the editorial page in 1984.

Brydges relinquished his editorial page duties a few years ago to return to news reporting, specializing in coverage of police and crime news. He remained in that assignment until he became ill several weeks ago.

He also had worked briefly as a reporter for the Buffalo Courier-Express.

During his tenure at the Niagara Gazette, his work won numerous citations from the Associated Press and from the Gannett Newspapers, of which the Gazette is a member. The New York State Publishers Association cited him for excellence in newspaper work in 1984 for the editorial position he took in favor of better treatment for members of minority groups.

Brydges helped to cover such major news events as Roger Woodward's survival of a plunge over Niagara Falls in 1960, while Woodward was protected only by a life jacket; the Blizzard of 1977; and the long cleanup campaign of the chemically contaminated Love Canal neighborhood.

He was a member of St. Mary of the Cataract Catholic Church, the Wilson Historical Society, Niagara University Boosters and numerous newspaper associations. He also was an avid fisherman.

Survivors include his wife, the former Janet Zimmer; two sons, Peter J. of New York City and Jerauld E. Jr. of Queens; a daughter, Mary Elizabeth; four brothers, Earl W. Jr. of Lewiston, Thomas E. of Buffalo, Dennis J. of Reston, Va., and William H. of Ballston Spa; and two sisters, Mary Lynn Brydges Barden of Watertown and Margaret Brydges Kelly of San Diego.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in St. Mary of the Cataract Church, 259 Fourth St., after prayers at 8:45 in Rhoney Funeral Home, 1124 Ontario Ave. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Lewiston.[bldwn]

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