R. James (Jim) Bryden
1944 - 2019
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R. James (Jim) Bryden

Binghamton - Living life to the fullest til the end, Raymond James (Jim) Bryden passed away of a heart attack on August 15, 2019 while bicycling with friends. Jim's life was about others and he gave fully to them. Born in Rome, NY in 1944, he majored in architecture at the University of Michigan where he met the love of his life, Sharon. After marrying in 1967 they moved to Binghamton where he spent his life dedicated to improving the City of Binghamton. He was a problem solver, always looking for a positive way to find a solution. He was a founding member of Preservation Association of the Southern Tier (PAST) and American Institute of Architects of the Southern Tier (AIA). He developed the Architecture Awareness Program used in many local schools. His active involvement in too many non-profit organizations to name enabled him to realize his vision for the area. Historic preservation was his passion. One of his proudest achievements was saving the Lackawanna Train Station where his firm Bryden-Trozze was located. He worked with the First Ward Action Council to renovate The New Dwightsville Victorian houses on Front Street, Binghamton. The Discovery Center, Boys and Girls Club, Camp Sertoma, Boy Scouts, Friends of the Broome County Library, and The IBM Museum are just a few of the organizations where he gave his all.

Jim loved and always sought to preserve nature. His sense of adventure led him and Sharon to tent camp across the country many times and National Parks were a favorite. In retirement they traveled the world visiting China, Australia, New Zealand, Peru and Europe.

He cherished his family and family of friends. He is survived by his wife Sharon, sons Gregory Bryden and Geoff (Jean) and granddaughter Mia Bryden, his brother David and sister Gail Zegarelli, many nieces and nephews and many, many loving friends.

Arrangements are being handled by J.A. McCormack Sons Funeral Home. Visitation at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 183 Riverside Drive, Binghamton, NY 13905 from 10 to 11 on Monday, August 19, 2019 with service following at 11. Friends Rev. Dr. Arthur Suggs and Rev. Douglas Taylor officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to PAST 21 N. Depot Street, Unit 1E, Binghamton, NY 13901 or Habitat for Humanity, 103 Adams Avenue, Endicott, NY 13760.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Press & Sun-Bulletin from Aug. 17 to Aug. 18, 2019.
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30 entries
August 21, 2019
I was stunned and saddened beyond words to hear that the world has lost such a kind, inquisitive, and talented soul. I apprenticed under Jim at Bryden-Trozze many years ago in thier beautiful office in the Lackawanna Train Station. I would very occasionally run into Jim on various occasions when I was in the Binghamton area. We would catch up on architecture things for a few moments, but our conversations would always wander into discussions about the spiritual realm. I always walked away from those meetings feeling uplifted and rejuvenated. I am so sorry to know that the opportunies for more of those conversations with Jim have passed; but I trust that he has entered into the spiritual realm with the same, joy, inquisitiveness and enthusiasm that he embraced in this one. And I so wish that he could share with us some of his beautiful photos from that side! Rest in peace, love, joy and enthusiasm Jim. You will be missed beyond measure. And deepest condolences to his beloved family.
Elizabeth Davidson
August 20, 2019
Dearest Sharon,
Your Man Among Men is gone from us. I am so sorry.

He was a True Man because his strength did not prohibit him from showing us his passion for life. That passion will be missed. I am grateful for all the visits we have shared over the years and the all the conversations we have shared. I mourn the conversations I anticipated; for Jim there were always more questions to be examined.

My love to you and your family.
Linda Goldstein
August 20, 2019
I am very sad to hear of Jim's passing. I met Jim when he led the Architectural Explorers in the 70's. He gave each of us in the group insight into the architectural profession. Through various field trips and exercises, he taught us how to see and think differently, more creatively, more outside the box. He introduced me to Onondaga Community College where I started my architectural studies. I've had a successful 40-year career and Jim was a big part of sending me down the right path.

The photo of Jim could not be more perfect. Jim had two facial expressions. His big, friendly, welcoming smile, and his pensive look when deep in thought. There were no strangers in the world, just friends Jim had not yet met. I am grateful for the time he spent with us during the Explorers and our occasional encounters on my trips back to Binghamton.

I offer my heartfelt condolences to all family and friends. It is truly a sad day.

Jerry Weslar
Boston, MA
Jerry Weslar
August 20, 2019
All of my friend's fathers, I would put Mr. Bryden at the top of the list as one of the nicest men and best role model a father could be. He was super supportive of his children's interest in the Boy Scouts and never heard him say a cross word. Sharon, Greg and Geoff, I am so sorry to hear this news my heart goes out to you during this extremely difficult time. He will be missed greatly as he touched so many lives.
Allan Nixon
August 20, 2019
Allan Nixon
August 20, 2019
Super sad I did not find out about his passing until after his service

Deepest and most sincere condolences to Geoff and Greg and Sharon and everybody else who knew and loved him

He was a giant of a man and we are profoundly lessened in his absence.

I've known very few better people
Michael Brutvan
August 20, 2019
Dear family and friends,
I was so very sad to read of Jim's sudden passing. He was truly a great guy and so very interested and curious about the world, life and people. He was kind. I will so miss his emails about the various happenings in our area.
God bless
Rev Janet Abel
Janet Abel
August 19, 2019
We are so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Sharon. Jim was such a character, larger than life and we will certainly feel the loss of our friend.
Sara Delafield
August 19, 2019
Dear Sharon and Boys,

On behalf of all of us at Broome a County Habitat for Humanity, our deepest sympathy. What a wonderful man! We are thankful for his many beautiful contributions to our organization in service over the years, and your family's continued support. We would not be as successful as we are today without Jim's gifts and talents. We were devastated to learn of his passing and we send all of our love.

With heavy hearts,

Amy Winans, Executive Director
and the Board, Staff, Volunteers and Partner Families of Broome County Habitat for Humanity
Amy Winans
August 19, 2019
Dear Sharon and the entire Bryden family,
Please know you all are in our thoughts and prayers. We have known Jim for many years since Bob worked with him on the Lackawanna Train Station. He was amazingly supportive of all our projects and of our daughter's architecture career. We all shared a neat coincidence when we met Jim's brother, David, and his wife at the Oslo Airport a few years back. We will miss Jim a lot and always looked forward to our chance meetings with him. We feel very fortunate to have had his support and friendship. Goodbye dear friend; you leave us with many cherished memories.
Robert & Cheryll Berg
August 19, 2019
Bryden Family,
My sincere condolences goes to you all during the very difficult time. I have had the honor of working with Jim and knowing him throughout the years with AIASNY. Jim was an invaluable resource as myself and others worked our way up through the leadership. One of the many bright moments was when we were able to start the AIASNY Scholarship program for architectural students who are attending SUNY Alfred or SUNY Delhi. That was back in 2004 and that scholarship program is still going strong today. Please know that Jim's influence has had a positive and profound affect on many lives.
Craig Wademan
August 19, 2019
My Heart, Thoughts And Prayers Are with Jim's Family And Friends, Tho I Didn't know him Personally, I was Present and Beside Him the Day Of His Passing,A Day Forever In My Heart and Mind! Fly High Sir And May you RIP
Judy Hawthorne
August 19, 2019
Sharon, please accept my deepest sympathies. Jim was my mentor, my inspiration and most of all my best friend. He was a monument to the Architecture profession and someone who guided me through my career as an Architect. I will greatly miss him.
Daniel Leonard
August 18, 2019
Jim was a great man and a good friend. He excelled at walking that fine line between successful professional and carefree little boy. Who can forget when he turned his living room into one of the first climbing walls in the Binghamton area?
Chris Quidort
August 18, 2019
To Sharon and all of the Family,

Jim was instrumental in the design of the original Discovery Center at the Columbus School in 1984, along with his partner in architecture--Peter Trozze. Jim's insight showcased his belief that play and learning always belonged together. I treasure his support and his dedication to all things Binghamton...and especially to the The Discovery Center.
Nancy Hargrave
August 18, 2019
Jim was such a tribute to the profession through his work with the AIA Chapter . Through the years it was always great, positive conversations talking about the Chapter, his colleagues he loved and the community and profession he worked so hard to improve.

AIANYS will miss you Jim and I will also miss hearing from you.
Georgi Bailey
August 18, 2019
Eternal Friendship Remembrance Bouquet - VASE INCLUDED
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John Somerville
August 18, 2019
I didn't know Jim but was a classmate of Gail's and remain a friend of hers. She has shared with me some of the emails he sent. Clearly, he was an amazing man. I'm so sorry for all who knew and loved him.
Yvonne Perret
August 17, 2019
Dear Sharon, Greg, and Geoff,

Sending love from Chestnut Hill, and we are so sorry we are not able to be with you all on Monday. We are shocked and sad and so very sorry. Jim was like an uncle to us "Book Club" kids, and he will be missed. Our condolences to you all.

Love, Sara, Paul, and Daniel
Sara Murray
August 17, 2019
We will miss you Jim!
Maryellen Fierro
August 17, 2019
Jim was such an amazing person. Brilliant and charismatic - yet humble and always looking to see how he could help others. I was fortunate to work with him on City of Binghamton initiatives, attend the same book club, and enjoy his wonderful insights at area spirituality events. He will truly be missed. My most sincere condolences to his beloved family and many, many, many friends.
Debbie Morello
August 17, 2019
Dearest Sharon and boys,We are devastated to learn of Jim's passing. He certainly went in a way he was enjoying.You are all in our prayers and remember we are always here for you Sharon. Fabulous friendships like ours are rare and everlasting. I miss our after Thanksgiving gatherings as the boys talked shop and we made gift tags for Christmas presents. Good times for sure. We will make sure to visit with you and help you through this difficult time. We love you dearly.
Jose & Maryellen Fierro
August 17, 2019
A true explorer of the universe. Always learning whether it was architecture, preserving history, skiing, biking hiking or scuba diving, gardening and his constant exploration of the spiritual world. His unconditional love, compassion and sharing in all things made him a remarkable man. His idea of "The Happening" and our work on helping others connect with their power within. A man I truly love who will always be with us as he continues his journey
Tom Meade
August 17, 2019
I am shocked and saddened to hear of Jim's sudden death. I knew him through Unity Church, where he sometimes gave the message.

My favorite memory of Jim was at this year's Mother's Day service, when he opened up and shared about his mother from his heart.

What a tender heart his was.

Good bye, Jim, and Godspeed.
August 17, 2019
Margaret Coffey
August 17, 2019
Margaret Coffey
August 17, 2019
I have so many wonderful memories of working with Jim on the PAST board, with my SUNY Broome architecture students, and as a dear friend who always had a big smile, a chuckle and a wry observation to share. Sharon, we are all devastated and are here for whatever you may need.
Marcia Blackburn
August 17, 2019
To my dear friend, Jim ... Farewell for now. Your work, compassion, dedication and love helped the Binghamton community grow in so many ways. I will miss you terribly but I look forward to seeing you again on the other side. And to dear Sharon, we are all here for you, we love you.
Connie Barnes
August 16, 2019
I worked with Jim on quite a few projects in the Binghamton area. He was a real gentleman, and an excellent architect. May he rest in piece.
Don James
August 16, 2019
Sharon, Greg, and Geoff, we are heartbroken over Jim's death. I still can't believe it's true. He was an amazing man and will be tremendously missed. We have so many happy memories of him and his desire to have fun. We love you all and grieve with you. Love, Caroline, Theron, and Beatrix
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