Col. Roy A. Bryan

  • Born: January 5, 1917
  • Died: September 21, 2014
  • Location: Annapolis, Maryland

Donaldson Funeral Home & Crematory PA

1411 Annapolis Rd
Odenton, MD 21113
Tel. (410) 672-2200

Tribute & Message From The Family

Col. Roy Ambrose Bryan, 97, died peacefully in his sleep on September 21, 2014. Roy was born on January 5, 1917 in New York City (Manhattan), the sixth child of Louis Kay and Beatrice May (Maloney) Bryan. Following his graduation from St. John Preparatory School, Col. Bryan enlisted in the Army in 1935, advancing rapidly and holding every rank from Private E-1 to Colonel 0-6. He was commissioned in 1941 as one of the first officers in the newly formed Medical Service Corps focusing his career in hospital administration and plans and operations. He retired in 1970 having served his country for 35 years. Col. Bryan earned a bachelor's degree in Military Science from the University of MD in 1954 and completed two years of post-graduate study at Trinity University in Texas.

Col. Bryan's service included deployment to the China Burma India Theater in World War II, Korea from 1961-1962, and two tours of duty in Germany. Decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Army Occupation Medal, the Nation Defense Service Medal and the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal.
Following his retirement from military service, Col. Bryan worked as a hospital administrator in the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and finished his career pathways as a realtor for O'Connor, Piper and Flynn and Coldwell Banker.

Col. Bryan married the love of his life, Beatrice (Bette) Mary Briere on September 11, 1937. Together they established a loving home for their four children: Penny Jones of Georgetown, TX; Roy Bryan Jr. (Karin) of Annapolis, MD; Peter Bryan (Carol) of Centennial, CO; and Betsy Regan (Ron) of Kansas City, MO. The family lived in 16 different locations during Col. Bryan's military service involving 30 different residences. In 1970, Bette and he bought a home in Odenton, MD, and established permanent roots in the community. In 1988, Col. Bryan was recognized as the Citizen of the Year by the Greater Odenton Improvement Association (GOIA) for his commitment to community service. Roy served as president and treasurer of the Hammond Park Civic Association and served as the treasurer of the GOIA for many years.

Roy was an avid genealogist and devoted many hours of meticulous research toward developing an accurate family record for the Bryan family. He was the third great nephew of the famous pioneer and explorer Daniel Boone and a cousin of Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln. Roy was a member of the Boone Society, an organization dedicated to the preservation of Boone family history.

Roy was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years Bette, his five siblings (Dorothy, Kathleen, Beatrice, Mary, and Lou), sons-in-law Earnest R. Jones Jr. and Carl Degen and grandson Christopher Degen. Roy is survived by his four children, 9 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren.

The family wishes to express their great appreciation to the staff at Sunrise of Annapolis Senior Living Facility for their tender care and devotion to "Mr. Roy." We will all remember Roy's quick wit, his ability to turn a simple event into a wonderful story, his kind and caring manner, his devotion to family and his life's mission to serve others.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made in his name to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS. 66675. Thank you!


Condolence & Memory Journal

Betsy, please accept my condolences for the passing of your dad. I am glad you were able to visit him in Maryland over the many years and especially in September. I enjoyed reading the obituary and discovering his many accomplishments throughout his long life. The two of you share many characteristics of life!
Nancy Kent Windes

Posted by Nancy Kent Windes - Stilwell, KS - friend of Betsy Regan   September 30, 2014

So sorry to learn of your Dad's passing.

Posted by "Chris" Christopher - Lake Ridge, VA - Served with Son   September 28, 2014


My favorite Uncle... Reported for duty when the going got tough. My love and gratitude. Mary Barbara

Posted by Mary B. Makoski - niece   September 27, 2014

The Medical Service Corps, Army, and Nation are better today because of Colonel Bryan's dedicated service and professionalism during a superlative 35-year career. With my respect and admiration, Major General David Rubenstein, 16th Chief, Medical Service Corps

Posted by MG David Rubenstein - Universal City, TX   September 26, 2014

With heartfelt sympathy and love, forever in my heart - Kathleen

Posted by Kathleen Taylor Sherlock - New Hyde Park, NY - niece   September 25, 2014

It was an honor to have Col. Bryan as a neighbor. He gave a lot of himself to so many and will be remembered fondly. Condolences to Roy, Jr and Karin and all the family.
Sibyl Wisch

Posted by Sibyl Wisch - Odenton, MD - Neighbor   September 25, 2014

I was my pleasure to know Roy from the Odenton Genealogy group and as a resident of Cedar Ridge.
A fine gentleman.

Robert W. Armentrout

Posted by Robert Armentrout - Odenton, MD - friend   September 25, 2014

It was such a pleasure to have known Roy as a fellow member of Odenton Genealogical Club. We share some ancestors and discussed it several times. I was too new at it to pay much attention at that time. Thank you Roy, you were a fine gentleman

Posted by Betsy Cord - Millersville, MD - friend   September 25, 2014

We met Colonel and Mrs. Bryan shortly after we became friends with Karin and Roy over 50 years ago. What a delightful and caring couple! They were always happy to see us and always made us feel as if we were members of their family. After Colonel Bryan moved into Sunrise, Roy said his father looked forward to reading our Christmas letter, which kept him and others up to date on our family. He was a true gentle man who will be missed by his loving family and the people fortunate enough to know him.--Janie and Bill

Posted by Jane and Bill Biggs - Annapolis, MD - Friends   September 24, 2014


Please accept our deepest condolences re your father's recent passing, and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and all of your family during this very sad time.


Posted by Jim & Karin Cimini - Odenton, MD - Friend of son, Roy   September 24, 2014


Roy was a remarkable man, it was a privilege to have known him. Our world was a brighter place with him in it.

Posted by Larry Murphy - Friend   September 23, 2014

Our heartfelt sympathy is extended to the entire Bryan Family. Your loss is shared by our team here at Sunrise Senior Living of Annapolis. Mr. Bryan will always be a great and wise man in our eyes. Peace and blessings to you all.

Posted by Phyllis Spencer, Sunrise Senior Living of Annapolis - Annapolis, MD - friend   September 23, 2014

Roy Bryan, Sr. welcomed me to Annapolis a year ago, and we have been fast friends ever since. As I interviewed him for his life story, I learned not only fascinating history but values about honor, service, and family. Roy's dry wit never failed him as he aged, and he was the definition of aging gracefully. His warmth and open heartedness, as well as that of his exceptional family, will be greatly missed.

Posted by Kathleen Lattea - Annapolis, MD - Sunrise Senior Living friend   September 23, 2014

Beautiful obituary. What an accomplished life he had! Lots of love and prayers being sent to your family.

Posted by Natalie and Ariel Regan - Kansas City, MO - Stepdaughter of Betsy Regan   September 23, 2014

What an amazing life! Thank you, Colonel, for your service.

Posted by Lucy Jones - Shawnee, KS - Friend of family   September 23, 2014