David Burton Bryan
South Pittsburgh, Tenn. — David Burton Bryan died Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in South Pittsburgh, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. David was born in Windsor, Vt., on April 27, 1940, the son of the late Frank MacLlewellyn Bryan of Montpelier, and Jeanne Constance (Allen) Bryan of Windsor. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Esther Jean Osborne. He is also survived by his brother, Frank Bryan and his wife, Melissa Lee of Starksboro; his sister, Jane Bryan of Germantown, Md.; stepchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
David grew up in Newbury, Vt. graduating from Newbury High School in 1958. In his youth he worked at various summer jobs including the town road crew. His academic interests were in physics, chemistry, and astronomy and he earned a Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. Air Defense Command for his work in the Ground Observers Core. David played the organ at midnight masses in Bradford as a high school student.
David attended St. Michael’s College and majored in Chemistry where he joined the Society of St. Edmunds and began his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Bradford. On leave from St. Michael’s College he entered the doctoral program at Johns Hopkins University, earning his Ph.D. in 1973 and returned to St. Michael’s College as a full-time professor. David was the Founding Director of the Permanent Diaconate Program in the Catholic Diocese of Burlington and later served as President of the Green Mountain Folklore Society.
After being granted a papal dispensation, David left the priesthood and married Jean Osborne in 1988 in New Bedford, Mass. He finished his career as the Director of Programs and Volunteers at the Ethan Allen Homestead and Museum while residing in Montpelier. David wrote two books: A Western Way of Meditation: The Rosary Revisited and From Bible to Creed: A New Approach to the Sunday Creed. The many people who knew and loved David remember him for his scholarship of biblical studies and for his love of his home state, Vermont. They remember him for his never-failing kindness, modesty, compassion for others, and devotion to his family and to the Catholic faith.
After his Alzheimer’s diagnosis, David and Jean moved to Tennessee in 2008. Throughout his long illness, David was blessed by the constant presence and care of this truly remarkable woman.
Calling hours will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday evening, April 7, at Hales Funeral Home in Bradford, Vt. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 8, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Bradford. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to any of the following: The Tenney Memorial Library in Newbury; the Ethan Allen Homestead and Museum in Burlington; the Permanent Diaconate Program of the Catholic Diocese of Burlington. Burial will be at the convenience of the family later in the spring in Newbury.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Hale Funeral Home of Bradford.
To view an online guestbook go to www.halefuneralhomes.com