Harry N. Bryan

Obituary
  • "Here's to you, Dad, to your zest for living and learning,..."

Harry Norman Bryan

age 91, died July 9 at St. Vincent Hospital of complications resulting from a fall the previous day.

Mr. Bryan was born the middle son of Harry Norman Bryan, Sr. and Ursula Hirshman Bryan in the house where he would grow up at 1050 East Market Street. He graduated from Arsenal Technical High School and went to work at Eli Lilly and Company.

At the age of 20, Mr. Bryan enlisted in the United States Navy and served aboard the USS Isherwood in multiple theaters of World War II. He and his shipmates participated in combined American and British operations, and Mr. Bryan saw action in some of the major naval battles of World War II. In the Philippine theater he fought in the Battle for Leyte Gulf and also in the invasion at Lingayen Gulf. The Isherwood was deployed to Okinawan waters for the invasion of Okinawa during which the fire fights were relentless. On April 22 a kamikaze hit the destroyer, and over 80 men were killed, wounded or missing afterward. Mr. Bryan was decorated for bravery for his actions in both the Philippine Battles and the Invasion of Okinawa. Always humble about his own courage, Mr. Bryan gave other men credit before himself. However, the men with whom he served, his friends and his family know and will always appreciate and remember the heroism of this decorated American patriot.

After the war Mr. Bryan attended Indiana University where he studied mathematics and physics and earned a bachelor's degree. Later he earned a master's degree from Ball State University. His widely ranging interests led him down a variety of career paths. During his work in technical science he authored a book about cryogenics; he also taught mathematics and industrial arts in the public schools. He was a craftsman who prized quality and precision, and the furniture and the jewelry he made reflected that insistence on quality. An avid hunter, fisherman, and golfer, Mr. Bryan may have enjoyed his last job the most at the golf course where his many talents were put to use. He quit that job only to care for his then wife Jenny Swinford Bryan who was suffering from Parkinson's disease.

Harry Bryan was generous with his time. He spent much of it with his family, and he was especially delighted by his granddaughters Jenny and Katie. He also reached out to children with special medical needs when he and his brother John Bryan drove children in need of medical care from Indianapolis to the Shriner's Hospital in Chicago.

Mr. Bryan was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, John and Tom; his wife of 59 years; and his niece, Kathy Bryan Swim. He is survived by his wife, Sondrea; his daughter, Sylvia Pauckner (Ed); his granddaughters, Caitlin Heinzelman (Nick) and Jenny Ambroise (Yves); great grandchildren, Ellie, Colton, and Calliope June Heinzelman and Solange Sylvie Ambroise; his nephews, Tom Bryan and Scott Swinford (Shelli); and his nieces, Nancy Bryan, Julie Bryan Edwards (Jeff), Andrea Bryan, Sally Hruban (Tom), and Cindy Grimaldi; as well as by great nieces, Heather Hayner (Mike), Laura Beeson, Shelby Grimaldi; great nephew, Brandon Madden; and grand nephew, Brady Hayner; and his niece, Kathy Swim's husband, Rob.

Services will be held at Crown Hill Funeral Home on Friday, August 1, with the visitation from 4 - 6 p.m. and the memorial service will begin at 6 p.m. Another memorial service will be held at Robin Run on August 5.

Funeral Home
Crown Hill Funeral Home
700 W 38th Street Indianapolis, IN 46208
(317) 925-3800
Funeral Home Details
Published in the The Indianapolis Star on July 30, 2014
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