Mary Elizabeth Bryson, 85, of Bozeman died of complications from lung cancer on June 16, 2007, at her home. The daughter of James and Rita Moore, she was born Feb. 15, 1922, in Aurora, Ill.
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Mary attended Northern Illinois State Teachers College in DeKalb, Ill., where she met Kenneth Bryson. They were married April 25, 1944. She received her baccalaureate degree from NISTC in 1947.
The family moved to Bozeman in 1950, where Kenneth Bryson taught in the department of speech communication at Montana State University (then Montana State College). Mary wrote for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, and completed a master's degree in English at MSU. She then earned a second master's in Irish literature at University College, Dublin, also taking courses at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. She taught in the department of English at MSU for many years. She remained active in the field of Irish studies, presenting papers at conferences in the U.S. and Ireland, and publishing several works on Anglo-Irish literature.
She and the two youngest children accompanied Kenneth to Guyana in 1968-70 when he served as deputy and acting country director for Peace Corps Guyana. While there she helped organize a library, and assisted in counseling volunteers in-country.
Mary and Kenneth were both active in the local Democratic Party. She participated in numerous local theater productions, and was an avid supporter of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and the Vigilante Theatre. Most recently, she volunteered at the Museum of the Rockies in the Tinsley House.
Mary is survived by her children: Patricia (George) Henry of DeKalb, Ill.; Thomas (Mary) Bryson of Vancouver, Wash.; and Julia Bryson of Portland, Ore.; also by grandchildren, Jennifer Henry, Patrick Bryson, and Michael Bryson; great-grandchildren, James and William Bryson; nieces, Cathleen Moore and Elaine Moore; and nephew, Don Aurand.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, James Moore; and sister, Ann Moore.
Cremation has taken place at Dahl Funeral Chapel.
A memorial gathering will be held in early August, date and place to be arranged.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Vigilante Theatre Company, 111 S. Grand Ave. Suite 201, Bozeman 59715; or to the Gallatin Valley Land Trust, P.O. Box 7021, Bozeman 59771.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on June 19, 2007