Robert "Bob" William Bryan, 70, Union, passed away Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, from advanced stage emphysema.
Mr. Bryan was born in Saginaw, Mich., Dec. 12, 1942. He had fond memories of his boyhood in Michigan enjoying the snow. When Mr. Bryan was 10 years old, his family moved to Houston, Texas, where he spent his youth exploring the wildlife of the untamed bayous near his home.
He acquired his love of reading, traveling and nature from his mother. Mr. Bryan attended Bellaire High School and then joined the U.S. Air Force
He served in the U.S.A.F. as part of the 340th Strategic Air Command Bomber Wing from 1961 to 1965 at Bergstrom Air Force Base, and was a reservist from 1965 to 1967. Mr. Bryan's specialties were armament and radar/electronics. He was loyal to his country and a proud patriot throughout his life.
After his time in the Air Force in 1972, Mr. Bryan received his commercial pilot ratings: single and multi-engine land, instrument and flight instructor airplane and instrument at Marsh Aviation, Houston, Texas. He received his airline transport rating in the late '70s. The FAA Aviation Safety award was presented to Mr. Bryan in 1976. He became an FAA accident prevention counselor in the Kansas City Central region of the FAA, as well as flight instructor and commercial pilot.
Mr. Bryan worked for Ingersoll Rand Corporation as the central region service manager. He then owned his own business, Industrial Air Service, Inc., for over 20 years. Mr. Bryan conducted vibration analysis on large industrial air compressors, predicting future problems and enabling scheduled shutdowns and part replacement, as well as heat exchanger cleaning.
He was an active member of St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Eureka. Mr. Bryan served as a member of the Emmaus and Via de Christo communities, participated in music ministry, led Bible classes and served many. He was a devoted volunteer with the St. Vincent de Paul Franklin County Jail Ministry. Mr. Bryan also participated in the worship services at Glade Church, Hillsboro, where he served as a guest speaker. He enjoyed playing bass in the Stone Cross band for several years. During Mr. Bryan's illness, he was privileged to pray for his many friends, acquaintances and any who needed prayer support.
He nurtured many interests during his life. Mr. Bryan loved anything related to adventure and the outdoors. His greatest love was aviation.
Mr. Bryan was a member of the NRA and Glendale Shooting Club. He sailed boats, collected guns, loved to hike, camp, fish, hunt and build and fly model airplanes.
Mr. Bryan was an amateur radio operator advanced class, and had constructed many antennas throughout the years. A voracious reader, he especially loved all facets of history.
Mr. Bryan's true passion was to travel. Road trips were common for him and no distance was too great. He was a lover of animals and nature's beauty, and cherished many dogs, cats and birds as pets during his life.
Mr. Bryan loved to learn and to study. He was proud to have completed his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Central Methodist University in 2009, despite the many challenges of his illness.
Mr. Bryan truly treasured his many dear friends and held them close to his heart. He adored his grandchildren, Tommy and Heidi Stahl, who provided him with many humorous respites from the burden of his illness.
Mr. Bryan was preceded in death by his parents, William Jennings Bryan and wife Peggy, nee McCray; one sister, Lana Jan Bryan; and one beloved brother-in-law, Joseph Reznicek.
He is survived by his wife, Wanda Bryan, Union; two daughters, Paige Burnett and husband Mervyn, Houston, Texas, and Anne Stahl and husband Edward, Washington; one stepson, Jack Tarsikes and wife Sandra, San Antonio, Texas; two sisters, Mary Jay Fitzgerald and husband Ron, Houston, Texas, and Ellen Reznicek, Plantersville, Texas; seven grandchildren, Tommy and Heidi Stahl, Dylan and Nash Burnett, Saraia, Sonora and Samara Tarsikes; one niece, Peggy Fitzgerald Wignall and husband Chet, with "baby soon to come"; three nephews, Joseph, Jesse and Matthew Reznicek; beloved dog, Dolly; two cockatiels, Lyle and Rocky, remain at home; other relatives and many friends.
"Our love and gratitude are extended to our Heartland Hospice team, Ron, Carol, Nikki, Linda, Carla, Tabitha, Jennifer and Robyn. We will always remember their loving care and sensitivity."
Mr. Bryan's life in Christ was celebrated at Washington United Methodist Church Saturday, Jan. 5, preceded by visitation at Nieburg-Vitt Funeral Home, Washington, Friday, Jan. 4.
Interment was in Washington United Methodist Cemetery.
The family requests that any donations be made to St. Louis Senior Dog Project, in care of Nieburg-Vitt Funeral Home, Washington.
The family was served by Nieburg-Vitt Funeral Home, Washington.