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Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)
By Garland and Annie Wade, Charter Members of DBMAT, Tulia, Texas; and Pat McCallum, Past President and Executive Director of DBMAT, Seagoville, Texas
Abstract: A few friends memorialize Everett Bryan, parent of a daughter with deafblindness and a trailblazer in support for Texas families.
Key Words: Family, deafblind, parent, leadership, memorial
We first met Jackie and LeeAnn in 1971 in their home in Amarillo. Everett was away from home that day at work as a highway engineer. They were among the parents attending the first deaf-blind parent’s meetings in Austin, sponsored by the Texas Education Agency. During the second or third of those meetings in 1976, a few parents met through the night to author the bylaws that established the Deaf-Blind Multihandicapped Association of Texas (DBMAT). Everett in his quiet wisdom was there to help lead the small group. Through the years several of us charter parents of DBMAT have fallen away for one reason or another…but never Everett and Jackie. They remained steadfast in their activity and in support of DBMAT. Having gleaned the choicest bits of information that DBMAT offered each year, Everett takes with him that quiet-found intelligence along with numerous friendships that mounted through the years. We are certain that his eternal heart is now a vessel containing the respect of everyone who came in contact with him here on earth. He did not command attention . . . but his presence filled the room. He did not sparkle . . . but his light filled the shadows. He never spoke harsh words . . . his example was chastisement enough. Our memories of this quiet, loving, unassuming man (A “David” among the Goliaths of life) . . . are his legacy to us. And we who knew him, or knew of him, and many who may never know him, are the beneficiaries of that honorable life well lived.
I feel I’ve known the Bryan family all my life. I’ve certainly known their smiling faces, encouraging words and gentle support for all of my DBMAT life. In the early 70’s, we began this unique journey together along with several other families of children who are deafblind.
Everett was treasurer during my tenure as president, and for several of my years as executive director of DBMAT. I felt Everett had a “John Wayne” persona with his strength of character, willingness to assist, and determination of effort…the quiet man who got the job done.
One of my fondest memories of Everett is when, at my request, he donned a Superman type costume to become “Superparent” for a skit during one of DBMAT’s annual conferences. He was a hit and saved the damsel in distress.
I feel sure that everyone who had the opportunity to know Everett has wonderful memories of this gentle man, not only to share but also to keep in their heart.
(Pat’s reflections are reprinted with permission from the DBMAT Newsletter In Touch, Spring 2006)
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