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Asheville - Harry Bittner Bryson passed away on January 1, 2014 at the Charles George VA Hospital in Asheville, NC at the age of 94.
Harry was born on May 4, 1919 in Hendersonville, NC to Samuel Young Bryson, a former mayor of Hendersonville and Julia Anna Bittner Bryson. He spent most of his life in Hendersonville, attending Immaculata Catholic School and graduating from Hendersonville High School. He was a devout Catholic who loved his church. Harry attended Belmont Abbey College and NC State University, then served his country during WW II, returning to graduate from UNC Chapel Hill in 1946 with a Pre-Med degree. An extremely intelligent man, Harry spoke fondly of remembering the sheer joy of learning in his college days. Throughout life he enjoyed taking on new hobbies and projects to challenge his mind.
During WW II Sgt. Harry Bryson served in the US Army Air Corps. He served as a nose gunner on a B-24 bomber in the 372nd Squadron of the 307th Bombardment Group, participating in 36 missions with the 13th Air Force in the Pacific arena. The crew members of his plane, the Reamey Crew, were among the first to bomb Balikpapan, Borneo and Corregidor, Philippines, strategic military points. Harry came safely home after the war to finish college and resettle in North Carolina. He enjoyed traveling to reunions with fellow veterans until into his nineties.
Harry returned to Hendersonville after college, marrying Louise Few in 1948, and working for the US Postal Service as a rural letter carrier until retirement in 1979. He was a loving father to his two daughters, Julia and Elizabeth, and was known by everyone who met him as a gracious, generous and kind person. He treated everyone with dignity and respect, and placed great value in helping others. Whether assisting elderly widows or taking part in a rescue effort for pets in a flooded local shelter, Harry enthusiastically helped others any way he could.
After the death of his wife Louise in 1989, Harry remarried to Betty Lou Burn, who passed in 2008.
Harry lived the last few years of his life in Asheville at home with his daughter, enjoying the company of his family every day. The family thanks everyone at the Charles George VA Hospital for their compassionate, dignified and thorough care of Mr. Bryson, as well as Allison Jones and Visiting Angels service.
Harry Bryson is survived by his two daughters, Julia Ray of Asheville and Elizabeth Jordan of Fletcher, as well as his two granddaughters, Jennifer Vanselow and Amanda Jordan.
The funeral will take place on Friday, January 17th at 3 PM in the chapel at Immaculate Conception Church in Hendersonville. The family asks that any donations in his name be made to Home Based Primary Care at the Charles George VA hospital. Or volunteer donating time to someone in need. Harry would have liked that.
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Jan. 15, 2014