Donald McLeod Bryan Donald McLeod "Red" Bryan, age 92, died peacefully on June 6, 2013 at Capital Medical Center after a long and accomplished life. Red was born on August 16, 1920 in Big Timber, Montana. He was one of five children of Esther and Patrick Bryan, a Montana pioneer family. As a boy, he began earning extra money by caddying at local golf courses and developed a lifelong passion for the game. He graduated from Billings High School and went to the University of Montana, where he had an illustrious career as quarterback and captain of the Grizzly football team, catcher on the baseball team and point guard of the basketball team. He remembered the thrill of traveling to play football against UCLA in the Coliseum. Red joined in the Army Air Corps in 1941 and became a B-17 pilot, flying bombing missions from North Africa during WWII. During his tour, he had to make a crash landing in the Algerian desert. He and his crew were captured and became POWs. It was always very difficult for him to share his stories, but headlines around the country later told the story of his harrowing escape from an Italian submarine transporting him to a POW camp in Europe. The submarine was bombed and sunk. Red and the other POWs escaped and were rescued floating in the ocean without lifejackets. On a later mission, he was forced to ditch his B-17 in the Mediterranean off the coast of Italy with his crew uninjured. Returning from the war, he became an Army instructor pilot in Rapid City, South Dakota. There he met his love, Lt. Mildred "Pete" Peterka. They were married July 13,1944 and shared nearly 69 years of marriage. In 1946, Red and Pete settled in Colville, Washington where he and his father worked together in the oil and gas business for 22 years. In 1968, they moved to Omak, Washington, where Red was a successful automobile dealer for ten years. After retiring in Wenatchee, they moved to Tumwater, Washington to be closer to their grandchildren in 1987. Red was a very accomplished golfer and simply loved the game. He won countless championships, made many holes-in-one, and treasured his golfing buddies over many decades. He served as President of the Olympia Country and Golf Club. For 12 years, late in life, he was employed at the Golf Club at Hawk's Prairie as a course starter and marshal. He loved getting up early in the morning and going to work the early shift, particularly on weekends. He enjoyed the golfers and was especially fond of the people he worked for and the others he worked with. Red is survived by his wife, Mildred "Pete" Bryan, and his three children, John Bryan and wife Tori, of Edmond, Oklahoma, Patricia Layton and husband Mark of Olympia and Mark Bryan and wife Susan, of Seattle. He has four grandchildren, Stephanie, Ross and Susanne Layton and Jackson Bryan. His surviving sibling is Dorothy Brink of Yakima. At his request, there will be no services. His family will gather and remember the man who loved his family and would often say, with tears in his eyes, "Your mother and I have been so lucky." Condolences may be sent to www.millsandmillsfunerals.com.
The Guest Book is expired.
Published in The Olympian on June 11, 2013