Theodore Wallace Bryant was born April 21, 1929 and left to be with his Lord March 17, 2013. Ted was born in Hartshorne, Oklahoma, the youngest of 11 children. He was born and raised on the former Choctaw Reservation in southeast Oklahoma of Choctaw and Cherokee descent. His surname Bryant comes from his Irish heritage. For the past 57 years, Denver has been his home. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Phyllis, his daughters Cheri Kay Huff, Rebecca Wiard, Barbi Bonfiglio, and Teddi Bryant, 7 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren. Ted joined the Navy in 1946 where he was a Seaman S/C. When the war ended, he joined the Oklahoma Air National Guard while he attended Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa to study airline mechanics. Ted completed this schooling to qualify for the FAA Aircraft and Engine mechanic license. From there, he moved to Denver and attended University of Denver where he graduated with a degree in airline and airport management. He joined the Colorado Air National Guard while at Denver University. In 1950, he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force and was later promoted to Captain. He met Phyllis at DU and they were married in 1951. He began a career with United Airlines in 1955 as a flight instructor and was the first American Indian Pilot for United. He was elected to the Colorado State House of Representatives for three terms, 1966 through 1970. During his tenure in the legislature, he drafted the bill out of which RTD was created. In 1971, he was appointed by President Nixon as Regional Director of ACTION volunteer programs. He was appointed commissioner of the Presidential Commission on Indian Reservation Economies in 1984. He was a member of the Native American Veterans Advisory Committee for the President. For more than 50 years, Ted was an active and dedicated member of Montview Presbyterian Church where he served as an elder and taught 5th grade Sunday school for more than 20 years. In his later years, he initiated the Montview mentors tutoring program. Ted devoted his life to the Lord, his family and his Indian heritage. Memorial service will be held at Montview Boulevard Pres Church, 2:00 pm Saturday, March 23.
Published in Denver Post on Mar. 21, 2013