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John Richard Bryan

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John Richard Bryan, 79, of Debs, died Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Minneapolis.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Trinity Lutheran Church near Debs with the Rev. Jay Borchert officiating.

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He was born Jan. 17, 1930, to Robert and Marguerite Bryan in La Porte City, Iowa. A few years later the family relocated to a farm near Dawson, Iowa, where they stayed.

He joined the U.S. Navy as soon as he could. He became a medic and was often deployed with the U.S. Marines. He was stationed on an evacuation island during the Korean conflict and served two tours of duty in the Vietnam War. During times of peace, he was busy as well. He set up a hospital in the Amazon jungle near Bogota, Colombia. He was also stationed at Bethesda Naval Hospital and was the medical repairman and x-ray technician for the White House during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. He retired from the Navy in December 1968 with the rank of chief petty officer.

He started the second phase of his life when he married Ellen Podoll. They moved back to Iowa to the same place he had grown up. He became an electrician and set up his own successful business. He and his wife had two children. In 2002, they retired and settled near Debs, where they kept busy with many friends and church and community activities.

He is survived by his wife; daughter, Laura (Mike) Bryan McQuiston of Minneapolis; son, Sam Bryan of Henderson, Nev.; a brother, Bob (Nadine) Bryan of Jamaica, Iowa; sisters, Pat Girton of Ames, Iowa, and Mid (Ben) Vanetta; and four grandsons.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a granddaughter.

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