Byron, John Bryan, passed away on Monday, August 26 in Fullerton California at the age of 85. |
He was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania on April 15, 1928. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Roberta (Bobbie); children, Steve, Parke, Meredith, Sean and Brendan; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
John was a "Flying Midshipman" in the Navy, becoming an Ensign in June of 1950. He served in the Navy for 23 years, mostly as a Naval Aviator specializing in Anti-Submarine Warfare. He earned a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California in 1961, where he also was elected to the Sigma Xi Society. John's tours took him and the family many fascinating places including both coasts of the U.S., two years in the Philippines, and six month cruises to the Mediterranean.
In 1971, John declined promotion to Captain, and retired in southern California to build his own house and in anticipation of the up coming college years of the kids. At that time, he also joined Hughes Aircraft in Fullerton, CA. where he excelled working in the Ground Systems division for 18 years.
From his days as a teenager working for his uncle, John had a passion for tinkering on cars and engines. This passion followed him into the Navy where he assisted crew chiefs in maintaining aircraft engines. Later, he restored numerous cars including maintaining a 1963 Chevy Bel Aire station wagon for over 40 years and 600,000 miles as well as fully restored classic1953 MG TD.
John's was a DIY'er before the acronym was invented. One of his ultimate projects was designing the house that the family has lived in since 1972. He started running marathons in his late 40's to improve his conditioning for backpacking. In a former life he was also an avid golfer, a serious bridge player, and a self taught musician.
Backpacking and camping were probably his truest love, though. He completed many trips lasting up to 30 days in the Sierras and Sequoia National Park, among other wildernesses with his sons, grandchildren, relatives and friends. Following retirement from Hughes, John completed the 2,000 mile California portion of the Pacific crest trails, mostly on solo trips.
Viewing will be 6-8 PM with a Rosary at 7 PM Monday, September 2 at McAulay & Wallace Mortuary, Fullerton. Mass will be 10 AM Tuesday, September 3 at ST. Juliana's Falconeri Church, Fullerton. McAulay & Wallace Mortuary
Published in Orange County Register on Sept. 1, 2013