Hillcrest Memorial Park and Mortuary

9101 Kern Canyon Road, Bakersfield, CA


John "Tony" Anthony Bryan

Passed away on May 20, 2020


December 4, 1939 – May 20, 2020

John Anthony Bryan - “Tony” - entered this world on December 4, 1939 at the Queen of Angels Hospital in Los Angeles, the son of Louis Pierre Laguerenne Bryan and Ann Mary Rieland Bryan. He passed in Bakersfield, California on May 20, 2020, predeceased by his older brother, Louis Jr., a World War II veteran, and his younger brother, James, a Vietnam veteran. Tony graduated from both Loyola High School (Los Angeles) and from San Francisco State College. After college he served as a “hot shot” firefighter with CAL FIRE, and served his country as a reservist in the United States Marine Corps, honorably discharged in 1965. He subsequently attended law school, after being personally recruited by Father Joseph Donovan, the Dean of Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Tony passed the bar exam on his first attempt and worked as a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Glendale before pivoting and beginning a life-long career as a defense attorney in the criminal courts. He defended cases in both Los Angeles and Kern counties before permanently relocating to Bakersfield in the 90’s, handling increasingly complex and high profile cases, and eventually specialized in death penalty defense cases. Tony relished defending the downtrodden, and devoted his career to defending individual liberties and checking the unrestrained exercise of governmental power. He loved history, philosophy, and advocacy, and wove them into what was described as “fireworks” and “a tornado in the courtroom” by the media. Among other professional recognitions he received, Tony was presented the coveted Atticus Finch award by the Kern County Bar Association for his unwavering commitment to his clients and the law. Outside of work, Tony lived a life filled with passions and pursuits: hunting, fishing, cycling, baseball, poetry, classical music, Catholicism, Marines, the second amendment, Ireland, and cats. Of the latter, he adopted many special and cherished felines over his lifetime. Tony served as a director of the National Rifle Association, and on the board of the Camp Hamilton Veteran Memorial Park. A devout Roman Catholic, he attended mass religiously throughout his life, most recently at St. Michael’s Chapel in Bakersfield. Tony’s most enduring legacy will be his impact on his expansive network of friends and acquaintances, for he relished nurturing deep relationships and positively impacting others’ lives. Tony is survived by his son, Christopher Bryan, and his grandchildren Nicolas and Elizabeth Bryan.


  • Christopher Bryan, Active Pallbearer
  • Mike Vega, Active Pallbearer
  • Joe Pilkington, Active Pallbearer
  • Vic Singh, Active Pallbearer
  • Mike Carlson, Active Pallbearer
  • Paul Klinker, Active Pallbearer
  • Glen Pierce, Active Pallbearer
  • Samuel Birchfield, Active Pallbearer
  • Nicholas Bryan, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Eric Charles, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Gary Turnbull, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Robert Birchfield, Honorary Pallbearer
  • William Slocumb, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Mac McCarthy, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Richard Monahan, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Joe W. Whittington, Honorary Pallbearer


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


John "Tony" Anthony Bryan

have a memory or condolence to add?

Cindy Dupuis

June 10, 2020

Tony, You were a brilliant man and it was an honor working with you for the past 20 years. When I first met you, my first thoughts were, "What did I get myself into!" But after time I got to get you know better and knew how to handle you. You were one of my favorite attorneys to work for, mainly because you were a beast in the courtroom. You wanted to give your clients the best defense possible...and you accomplished that time and time again. Every time we sat down together, I learned something new about you and encouraged you to write your memoirs for your family. You were the smartest man I knew. You knew something about every subject. I got past your teasing me about riding my Harley. I will miss you so much...no other attorney can take your place. Rest in Peace Tony... Cindy Dupuis, Private Investigator

Judge Thomas Clark

June 10, 2020

Tony was a unique individual with the ability to converse passionately, knowledgeably and insightfully on a wide range of subjects ranging from Second Amendment issues, Irish heritage and his passionate concerns about civil rights of those accused. I will miss his too infrequent appearances in my courtroom and some of those spontaneous conversations. He used his time well to help others and will be missed and remembered by many.

Michael Lukehart

May 31, 2020

Tony was a good friend for 49 years, always remembering to cherish his relationships. He is missed and will be remembered.

Christine Bell/Warner

May 31, 2020

We had many crazy years together.

It was a wild ride being in an office with you.

Learned alot

mostly- that I loved you old man.

I really mean it from the heart when I say rest in peace

Love, Christine

John Carroll

May 30, 2020

I met Tony in 1989 and he has been a good friend for more than 30 years. He was always there for me and extremely supportive. I will miss his humor, intellectual honesty, and kindness.