William R. "Bill" Bryson (1934 - 2017)

Obituary
  • "I will miss his smile. He was so smart, loving and funny...."
    - Minerva Pizar
  • "To Bill's family, take heart that his efforts and..."
    - Mike Dealy
  • "Bill was a good neighbor( Betty still is). Bill will be..."
    - Don and Madelyn Moss
  • "Aunt Betty and Stewart, you are both in my thoughts and..."
    - Angie Snow
  • "Betty, I was so sad to see this in the paper. You guys have..."
    - Erin Schneider

William (Bill) R. Bryson, 82, passed away peacefully on Monday July 10, 2017, at Hospice House, Olathe, KS following complications from a stroke. He was born in Manhattan, KS, December 29, 1934, to Gladys Winifred (Musser) and Harry Ray Bryson.

Bill grew up in Manhattan, KS and received high grades in school, achieved Eagle Scout, and played piano with feeling and trombone with gusto. He graduated from Manhattan High School (1953) lettering in track and wrestling, appearing in plays and contributing to Manhattan Mercury sports coverage. He kept in contact with alumni friends throughout the years.

While receiving a BS (1958) and an MS (1960) in Geology from Kansas State University, Bill was active in Phi Delta Theta social and Sigma Gamma Epsilon honorary geology fraternities, and even had time for a trophy in intramural horseshoes. He was a teaching assistant as a grad student.

In 1960, he was hired by the Kansas Board of Health and Environment (KDHE) as district geologist, first in Topeka (1959-61), and then Dodge City (1961-74) where he met his future wife, Betty. During 36 years with the State of Kansas, Bill served as director of KDHE's Division of Oil Field and Environmental Geology (1974-78). He was intergovernmental coordinator, Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) and director of their Conservation Division in the 1980s.

From the mid-'90s until recently, he held an appointment with the Kansas Geologic Survey with an office on the University of Kansas campus. In 1987-1988 and 1993-1995, he served as president of the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) and on various EPA workgroups related to oil and gas regulation for both GWPC and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.

In retirement, as consultant for Hagler Bailly on USAID projects, he wrote oil and gas environmental regulations for the governments of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan for the Caspian Sea area. He was a frequently consulted expert by various states and congressional committees in groundwater management. Bill was noted for a comprehensive memory.

He demanded excellence by attention to scientific fact, research, and straight-talking communication sprinkled with a sardonic wit. He served the people of Kansas tirelessly to ensure they had clean water through close monitoring of energy development and carefully crafting regulations. His humorous and well-worded business and personal emails and handwritten letters are treasured mementos. Among many interests were gardening, stamp collecting, bowling, the Boy Scouts, and collecting postcards postmarked long ago in what are now ghost towns.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Elizabeth (Betty) (Dinkel) Bryson, Lawrence, KS and son Stewart C.; Elk Ridge, MD; sister G. Kathleen Pizar (John) and niece Shavaun M. Pizar, Denville, NJ and nephew Charles B. Pizar (Minerva) and twins Isabella and William J., Milltown, NJ; cousin D. Ronald Musser (Rowena), Kaley Batten (David) and Nicole Musser, all of Vancouver, WA, and Brett T. (Sarah) Musser, Malorie and Finn, Turlock, CA; and second cousin Eleanor (Pflug) Rundus, Urbana, IL and family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Boy Scouts of America. No service is planned at this time. Arrangements are through Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home and Crematory, Lawrence.
Funeral Home
Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home & Crematory
601 Indiana St
Lawrence, KS 66044
(785) 843-5111
Funeral Home Details
Send Flowers
Published in Lawrence Journal-World from July 13 to July 16, 2017