Kathryn Bryson
Kathryn Bryson

Obituary of Kathryn Bryson

Kathryn Bryson Kathryn I. Bryson 1923-2009 Our beloved Mother, Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother, Kathryn (Kaye) Bryson, passed away surrounded by her loved ones at age 86 on November 20, 2009 in Portland, Oregon after a short and well fought battle with mesothelioma. She was born Katherine Iva Benson on June 10, 1923 to John C. and Flora Anne (Hueser) Benson in Shelby, Montana, the youngest of 5 children. At age 6 the family purchased a home and moved from Sunburst, MT to Woodburn, Oregon while her father remained in Montana a few more years to work in the oil fields supporting the family before later joining them. During this time Kaye attended schools in Sunburst, Montana (she returned one year to stay with her father), Woodburn, and graduated from Salem High School. After graduation in 1941, Kaye moved to Portland to seek employment, "life in the big city", and start her adult life. During the "War years" she held various jobs in Portland including Office of the Price Administration, Military Security Department, Keizer Shipyards, and Lipmann's Department store. While living and working in Portland, she met the love of her life, Melvin Perry Bryson. They were married February 27, 1944. In the post war years their two children, Melvin Jr. and Susan were born in Portland. Mel Sr. worked and attended college while Kaye worked nights at Mail-Well envelope factory. In 1950, after her husband's graduation from Western States Chiropractic College, the family moved to Springfield, Oregon where they established a Chiropractic practice and began raising their family. Springfield was then a vibrant and growing "mill town" with many opportunities. Many life-long friends were made in addition to much community involvement. During the passing years with much love and hard work, Kaye and Mel were able to realize their dreams..."a great place to raise a family and enjoy life". Kaye was a homemaker with many interests. She was first and foremost a devoted wife and mother. Being blessed with high energy and was always "on the go" she was involved with many organizations including: PTA, Lady Lions, Eastern Star, Daughters of the Nile, United Methodists Women, Springfield Country Club, PEO Sisterhood, Blanch Markham, Town and Country Garden Club, among others. Later in life one of her favorite activities was with the "water aerobic gals" at Charbonneau. While her children were growing up, she became an excellent seamstress, loved Japanese Bonsai, and tole painting. She was very creative and one of her life passions that gave her great joy was as a home decorator extraordinaire, constantly updating and improving her homes. She particularly enjoyed dancing and for many years attended various Dixie-Land Jazz music festivals. After seeing her children through school, Kaye and Mel Sr. traveled extensively. This love of travel continued throughout her life, visiting many places around the USA and world. With the sudden and unexpected death of her husband in 1981, Kaye then became a very adept businesswoman when she took over management of the family real estate and investment holdings, something she continued until shortly before her passing. In 1992 she moved her primary residence from Springfield, OR to the Charbonneau community in Wilsonville, OR. Also, a short time later, with the desire to spend her winter months in a warmer climate, she purchased a second home in Palm Desert, CA. In both places she enjoyed many and varied social activities including concerts, museums, water aerobics and golf. She continued to often make trips to Springfield to visit family and friends, as well as attend to business matters. In the summer of 2009, with the diagnosis of cancer, Kaye moved to Willamette View Retirement Home in Portland, Oregon. Being very social and out-going, she again quickly made friends while also maintaining many of the friendships she had made while living in Charbonneau, Palm Desert and Springfield. Although independent in her life style, most important to Kaye was her family, always willing to provide guidance and support when needed, many times in the form of her "famous newspaper clippings". Of particular enjoyment to her were family gatherings for any occasion. She is survived by her son, Dr. Melvin P. Bryson Jr. and his wife Elaine of Vida, OR, and her daughter, Susan K. James and her husband Ron of Tualatin, OR. She will be forever loved and missed by her grandchildren: Kristine, Matthew, Luke, Spencer; her step-grandchildren: Matthew and Jennifer; as well as her six great-grandchildren, all of whom knew her as Dolly. A special thanks is extended to her beloved nieces, Diane Nowakoski and Julie McCarthy for the loving support they always gave their "Aunty Kaye" and to Willamette Falls Hospice for their exceptional care provided in Kaye's last months. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Melvin P. Bryson Sr., grandson Melvin P. Bryson III, brothers and sisters Ruth, Harvey, Ann and Portland. Rather than flowers, it is requested that remembrances be mailed to Willamette Falls Hospice, 1500 Division St., Oregon City, OR 97045. A Memorial Service for Kaye will be held Friday, December 4, 2009, 1:30 pm at Springfield Memorial Gardens, 7305 Main St., Springfield, 97478, followed by a 3:00 pm Celebration of her Life at the Willamalane Adult Activity Center, 215 West C St., Springfield, OR. Kaye's Loving and Grateful Family. Please sign the guest book.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kathryn Bryson, please visit Tribute Store
Share Your Memory of
Kathryn