Bryan J. “Jack” Bee, 83, passed away Nov. 4, 2013, in Hood River, Ore. He was born Dec. 29, 1929, in Oklahoma to Vernon and Margaret Bee.
Bryan joined the Army after graduating from high school and served during the Korean War. His lifelong love of music landed him in the relative safety of the U.S. Army Band. He was a professional musician all his life.
Before moving to Oregon in the mid-1970s, he was a member of the “house band” at Harold’s Club in Reno, Nev., playing both upright bass and trombone. He continued to play both instruments in bands throughout the Willamette Valley. He enjoyed maintaining his “chops” and didn’t have to be asked twice to entertain.
Bryan was an avid reader and believed in self-education. In addition to his music career, he was also a master stonemason, ornithologist and arborist. He lived many years “off the grid” and took great pride in his fruit trees, garden, cooking skills and his ability to live a frugal life off the land.
Bryan always had a dog in life, most recently his beloved Kelpie, Chica. Bryan was extremely grateful for the care both he and Chica received at the VA Hospital in Portland. He faced his illness with his usual optimism, but also liked to remind us all pragmatically that “none of us are going to get out of this alive.”
Bryan is survived by his three sons, Val and Scott of Oklahoma and Jack (and Nicca) of Reno, Nev.; and his brother, Vernon, of Texas.
The last years of Bryan’s life were spent in the comfort of his dear friends Brian and Lainey, and all the folks he befriended at Hood River Country Club Golf Course. His family gratefully acknowledges their kindness and compassion.
He also leaves behind friends Kelly Dennis; Robert and Shannon Sappingfield; Shelby and Kim Essex and Andrea.
Remembrances may be made to the Oregon Humane Society, P.O. Box 11364, Portland, OR 97211.
A memorial was held Friday, Nov. 8, at the Hood River Country Club.
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