Billie Wayne Bryan, 78, of Chinook died peacefully on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2006, in Great Falls from brain cancer.
His funeral service will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Edwards Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow in Kuper Memorial Cemetery. Bill was born Sept. 13, 1928, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Dean and Helen (Elben) Bryan. He grew up and worked with his family at their fruit orchard in Valverda, Utah. Bill married the love of his life, Margaret Lee of Morgan, Utah on June 28, 1947 in Elko, Nevada. They had a double ring ceremony with friends, Carl and LaDene Wooslayer. Bill and Margaret moved to Chinook on June 3, 1953. Bill started Bryan Trucking Company. He hauled asphalt throughout the state and Canada for the next 23 years. He then became an owner/operator and worked for Westran Wheels, EL. Murphy and Westran. During this time, he enjoyed driving cross country throughout the United States, especially with his son-in-law Gary Knudson. His favorite trips were hauling freight to various gold mines. He received many awards including best driver and driving more than 1 million miles accident free. After driving more than 3 million miles, he retired at age 72. Bill had a great passion for the outdoors. There was nothing more he enjoyed than hunting and fishing with his children and grandchildren. He also enjoyed tying flies, gardening and spending time at his cabin in Hungry Horse. It was always fun to go to his house because everyone knew their favorite things were waiting for them; whether it was a fish, pheasant, or antelope dinner, huckleberry pancakes, or his homemade huckleberry jam. The fishing poles were always baited and ready to go. He was a friend to everyone he met. He would go out of his way to help anyone in need. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Dean and Helen Bryan; son, Wayne Bryan; grandsons, Shane Bryan, Greg Knudson and Kelly Knudson; and daughter-in-law, Joyce Bryan. Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Margaret; children, Gary Bryan of Columbia Falls, Helen (Gary) Knudson of Clinton, Kent Bryan (Yolanda) of Willmar, Minn., and Marsha (Mitch) of Helena; sisters, LeDean Lewis of Seal Beach, Calif., and Barbara DeVries of Hemet, Calif.; 14 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. The family suggests memorials to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.