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).
Ron uplifted this entire area and is still uplifting it. May Mary, the children and grandchildren rest in the peaceful loving energy the he showed them here and taught them to appreciate by his presence. He was one of a kind & will never be forgotten by me or the thousands of others his life touched upon. Love you Ron. Love you dear, dear Mary, and Mary, thank you for sharing him with us even though you didn’t always agree with his ideas, your mind was open enough to follow him down his quirky paths and laugh with him instead of at him. ❤️❤️❤️
I was inspired by Ron when I first moved to Texas. What an open, loving soul. All my love to his wonderful wife and family.
We are truly blessed to have known Ron these past years. We will miss him. Our sympathies and prayers to Mary and your family. It’s been a long journey. Blessings to all.
Rachael, Natalie, and I loved Ron so much. He was so kind and sweet, an absolute teddy bear of a man. Death is a part of life but it leaves behind an empty place in the heart of all those touched by the one who has passed. I look forward to meeting up with you again some day Ron, I’d love to hear your stories about Jason’s Jelly and so much more. Rest well kind soul, you will be missed by many.
I will miss Ron very much. I remember fondly his kindness to me when I first arrived on campus and the smiles we always share when we talked about teaching. Condolences to the family.
I met Ron when I was looking for a church home in College Station. The very first service I attended was “Hymn Sunday” so I had the pleasure of listening to him play for an hour. Afterwards we chatted and a gentle, lovely friendship formed. Ron was such a treasure; he never lost his sense of wonder and curiosity. He is sorely missed.
Ron has been my friend for 45 years. I will surely miss him.
Another dimension is now the recipient of music being played by one of the gentilest, kind, and talented men I have ever been honored to have known. I am so sorry for your loss and my thoughts are with you during this time of grief. Christine Allen
Benjamin William Douglas.