UPDATE: Life Tribute Celebration will be held at 3:30pm, Saturday, December 1, 2018, at TAMU Hillel Foundation, 800 George Bush Drive, College Station.
Ron Bryan – husband, father, friend, colleague – born June 16, 1932, passed from this life on October 22, 2018, ending a lively life of science and music, leaving a legacy of challenges and love.
Ron was the third of four children born (and raised) in Portland, Oregon, to Gladys Marie Leonards and Robert Lenwood Bryan. He often expressed his appreciation for the education and classical music training he received in Portland during his early years. As a teenager he hitchhiked to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, where, with interruptions, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in physics. He moved on to the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, where he studied with Professor Robert Marshak and in 1961 earned a PhD in theoretical nuclear physics. In early 1968 Ron joined the physics faculty at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, where he taught, researched and published until he retired in 2011.
Among the interruptions in his studies at Yale was Ron’s discovery of the wonders of Manhattan, particularly Greenwich Village, where he honed his skills as a jazz pianist. For the rest of his life he brought music along his path, sometimes to earn money, but mostly because he loved it, and loved the camaraderie of friends and fellow musicians. There was music at home, music at department parties, music with friends, music at local establishments, music at church … songs in any key, melodies in any style … As a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Brazos Valley for 50 years, Ron participated in the music of services almost every Sunday, as well as for ceremonies and social gatherings.
In 1962, while a post-doc at UCLA, Professor Bryan predicted the existence of a scalar meson. That particle was finally listed in the official Particle Data Tables after some 48 years. For many years he helped analyze nucleon-nucleon data in terms of phase shifts, facilitating construction of models of nucleon-nucleon reactions. He proposed the first model of elementary particles in which the particles exist in a higher-dimensional space-time that stretches off to infinity in all directions. Professor Bryan was a Fellow of the American Physical Society awarded for research in nuclear physics. At Texas A&M he received a Distinguished Teaching Award from the Association of Former Students, participated in the Faculty Senate, and in 2011 was granted emeritus status.
In recent years Ron became interested in the possibility that distant healing, remote viewing, chi and other such phenomena are mediated by a physical field like the electromagnetic field but which does not weaken over distances nor is it impeded by obstructions like walls and mountains. He proposed an experiment to look for a higher-dimensional field; this work continues, funded by private donors, through his fellow researchers in Germany.
A unique contribution to us all: in his early years at TAMU Ron Bryan gathered scientists and philosophers together to discuss shared issues such as Determinism. More recently he gathered diverse academics and lay people together, weekly for Monday Lunch, to discuss material and spiritual ideas and to share personal beliefs and experiences. Through these meetings many ideas were shared and bonds formed that continue to blossom today.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents and by his three siblings: Bobby, Jimmy, and Patty.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Mary Lind Bryan, and by their two daughters: Phoebe, her husband Jamie, and their children Matthew, Tyler, and Kody; and Penny, her husband Bryan, and their children Kylie, Konner and Kason. Ron is also survived by his two sons from a previous marriage: William, his wife Vivien, and their children Nadia and Damon; and Scott, his wife Catherine, and their son Nathan. He is also survived by five great-grandchildren: Kayora, Nico, Mae, Briar, and Ian; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Ron’s family would like to thank Dr. Bart Barlogie and Bonnie Jenkins of Mount Sinai Hospital, NY, Dr. Frederick Tan of Bryan-College Station, and Hospice of Brazos Valley.
A celebration of Ronald Bryan’s life will be announced in the near future. Meanwhile, share your memories of Ron at CallawayJones.com. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Ron’s name to the Unitarian Church (P.O.Box 12372, C.S. 77842) or to the Brazos Valley African American Museum (500 E. Pruitt, Bryan 77803).