MISSOULA – Charles Allen Bryan, age 79, of Missoula, died Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, from complications of after a heart attack.
Charles was born May 19, 1936, in Livingston. He attended Park County High School where he played numerous sports and fell for his high school sweet heart and lifelong companion, Cynthia Rapp, who he would later marry on June 9, 1956.
Charles graduated from Montana State University in 1958 and earned a Ph.D. at the University of Arizona in 1962. His teaching career began at Arizona State, where he stayed for four years. He then got his dream job teaching in the math department at the University of Montana. At UM he was a math professor, graduate adviser and chaired the department several times. He was active in forming the teachers union at the school and he served as a faculty representative for the athletic department.
Charles was very involved with his family and liked to participate in all of their interests. He was a scout leader, baseball coach, Sunday school teacher, president of Babe Ruth and active in the YMCA basketball program. He was in the stands for his children’s events and later made it to many of his grandkids events regardless how difficult it was to get there in his wheelchair.
Charles fought a vigilant battle with multiple sclerosis most of his adult life. He was first diagnosed in 1959 but he never let it slow him down or stop him from participating in the things that were important to him. Due to his illness he took an early retirement from the University and joined his wife Cynthia at Gillespie Realty (currently Berkshire Hathaway) a company they had purchased together in 1984. There he was the office statistician and provided great moral support and advice.
Charles was very involved in his Exchange Club, the University Wesley House, the Methodist Church and later the University Congregational Church, his weekly Bible study group, and his couples bridge club, which still meets and has been active for more than 45 years. Charles was a big fan of Grizzly athletics where he was a staple at all the football and basketball games. He was a vocal supporter and the family appreciates the patience of the fans around him. Charles loved to cheer and cheer loudly for his team.
Charles is preceded in death by his mother Dorothy Bryan and his father George Bryan. He is survived by his brother John (Martha) Bryan of Oregon, and the love of his life and wife of 59 years, Cynthia Bryan; his children, Mike (Sarah) Bryan, Talbert Bryan, Gary (Janine) Bryan and daughter Julie (Craig) Birgenheier, along with eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Charles is also survived by his long-term and loving caregivers, who the family will forever be in debt to: Ray Robinson, Susan Henson, Karen Houser and Danae Nuckols. God bless them for making Charles' last years more comfortable.
Last but not least were his constant companions at the house his two Shih Tzu dogs Lexi and Lady and rescue kitty Vaggie who loved him dearly.
Memorial services will be at the University Congregational Church at 405 University Ave. at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, with reception to follow at the church. In lieu of flowers the family request donations to the Montana Chapter of the MS Society or Missoula Aging Services.