Obituary Richard Bryson
April 09, 2014
Richard Dale Bryson
Richard Dale Bryson passed away peacefully on April 1, 2014. Richard was born in Ventura, CA on February 5, 1930, the youngest of seven children, to Margaret and Laverne Bryson.
Richard spent most of his life in Ventura and Santa Paula. He graduated from Santa Paula Union High School. While attending Ventura Junior College, he met his future wife, Sheila Ann White. They were married on September 10th, 1951, and went on to celebrate 62 years of marriage together.
In 1958, following his service in the Air Force, Richard graduated from California State University, San Jose. He returned to his high school alma mater where he taught science and biology including stints as counselor, student body advisor and assistant principal until his 1988 retirement. In addition to leading weekend desert field trips for biology students, Richard also worked with students restoring the SP Landmark on South Mountain in Santa Paula as well as overseeing campus landscaping projects. Perhaps his favorite adjunct duty, however, involved collaborating with his friend and colleague, SPHS band-director Ed Roina, to direct the high school musicals including Oklahoma and South Pacific. He established lasting friendships with many students as a result of these productions. His dedication to his career was extraordinary as he positively impacted the lives of many young people.
Richard’s keen interest in science and love of the outdoors led him to his next great adventure. Together with his family, he spent 18 summers as a ranger-naturalist in national parks including Mt. Rainier, Crater Lake and Kings Canyon. These summers enabled him to combine his academic skills with his passion for the outdoors and music and utilize his dynamic ability to interact with people. He welcomed the chance to foster an appreciation for nature while leading and narrating visitor hikes. Evenings found him immersed in campfire programs, leading songs and sharing his knowledge of the parks’ treasures through his media presentations. Richard’s ability to educate while simultaneously entertaining was incomparable.
One of Richard’s favorite pursuits was music. A gifted musician, he could play many instruments, but focused on the piano, accordion, trombone, and ukelele. Through the years, he was an active member in barbershop quartets and church choirs. In his later years, he was a valued member of The Seniors of Note, a big band music group. He enjoyed playing for community events, including concerts at his grandchildren’s elementary schools where his goal was to help kids create “a hobby for life.”
In addition to his love of reading and gardening, Richard savored the many wonderful times he and Sheila spent traveling with family and friends. He especially appreciated the great friendships and lively camaraderie of their RV group and often fondly recounted tales of their adventures.
Richard will be remembered as one who was deeply devoted to his faith, his family, and his friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Flora, and his brothers, Allen, Don, and Bud.
He is survived by his wife Sheila of Ventura; his children Kathy Murray (Kevin), Susan Edgar (Doug), Michael Bryson (Denise) and Jeanine Lewis (James); his grandchildren Jenny, Kelly, Meredith, Michael, Amanda, Bryson, Riley, Molly, Jamie, Janelle, and Jessica; and his great-grandchildren Cole, Madden, Carter, Ayden, and Leighton.
Richard’s family would like to thank Dr. Michael Tushla, Assisted Home Care, and Finest Living Guest Home at Arcade for their compassionate care.
A Rosary will be recited at 6 P.M. on Thursday, April 10th, 2014 at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 3175 Telegraph Rd. Ventura. A Celebration of Life Mass will be held at 2 P.M. on Friday April 11, 2014 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 427 N. Oak St., Santa Paula. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Richard may give to their favorite charity. Arrangements are under the direction of Joseph P. Reardon Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ventura.