David Claude O'Bryant
March 18, 1935 – October 24, 2020
Dr. David Claude O’Bryant, 85, who resided at MacKenzie Place – Colorado Springs for the past five years, passed away peacefully at his brother’s home in Colorado Springs on Saturday, October 24, 2020. David was born March 18, 1935 in Canton, IL to Claude Wesley O’Bryant and Vera Gwendolyn (Gwen) Carpenter. He lived on the O’Bryant family farm in Bryant, IL; as well as Canton; Chicago; Oak Lawn; Champaign; and Urbana, IL; and retired to Colorado Springs in 1994. As a very advanced science and math student, at the age of 16 he was offered a scholarship to study Physics at the University of Chicago, but he declined, and graduated from Austin High School in Chicago in 1953.
David attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1958. He then received his master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1962, and a Doctorate in Education in Vocational-Technical Education in 1970. He was a senior teaching assistant there starting in 1957. He was a member of Acacia Fraternity and served in the Army R.O.T.C., starting in 1953.
On June 26, 1960, he was married to Joan Marie Ellacott in Riverside, IL and has one daughter Pamela O’Bryant. He married Sharon Jean McConkey in Covington, Indiana on September 9, 1988, and has two stepsons: Richard and David Spangler.
As a newly commissioned lieutenant, David taught at the ordnance school at the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps in 1958 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. In the Army Reserves, he served in the 5000th Research Development Group in Illinois until 1967, leaving as a Captain.
For 36 years, David taught as an Associate Professor in the Department of General Engineering at UIUC retiring in 1993 as an Emeritus Professor, Associate Department Head, and student advisor. During his tenure at the University, he taught fifteen different GE courses, and served on numerous committees at departmental, college and university levels. He taught the GE In-Service Training Course 1966-1993. In 1992, he was named an “Outstanding Faculty Member.” David was chairman of (GE103) Engineering Graphics for twenty-five years and co-authored three textbooks and eleven workbooks on engineering graphics. He was the state director of the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) summer program for high school students from 1968-87. In 1969, he started Minority Introduction to Engineering (MITE) summer program for high-ability minority students at UIUC, that then spread all over the U.S. David served as a special consultant to MITE 1973-87. In 1971, he was appointed a special consultant to the Peace Corps in Kenya, where he spent two months working with the Kenyan government and Peace Corps trainees. David was a Registered Professional Engineer in Illinois.
David was a member of the Sunrise Methodist Church, and participated in MacKenzie Place interdenominational services. He delighted in telling about the year he completed 165 rounds of golf, mostly at Colorado Springs Country Club; he had a lifelong love of the game and his playing partners. His woodworking gifts are treasured by family and friends. He and Sharon enjoyed extensive travels and playing in several bridge groups. Family fishing trips also created happy memories. The “Strike O’Bryant Bowling Tournament” was an annual event among his university associates.
He is survived by his wife Sharon O’Bryant; brother Dan (Donna) O’Bryant of Colorado Springs, CO; daughter Pamela (Jon) Gripe of St. Charles, IL; and stepsons: Richard (Linda) Spangler of Signal Mountain, TN and David (Rhonda) Spangler of Hoover, Alabama. His grandchildren are: Megan Wacker (Dominique Gross) of Milwaukee, WI; Emma Wacker of Champaign, IL; Jason (Rachel) Spangler of Columbia, SC; Robert (Cynthia) Spangler of Chattanooga, TN; Michelle (Aaron) Perelman of Birmingham, AL; Austin (Kelly Greene) Spangler of Birmingham, AL; and Anna Morgan Spangler of Tuscaloosa, AL. His great-grandchildren are Remi Spangler, Sammy Spangler, Judah and Harper Perelman. Family also includes niece Kelli (Josh) Phifer of Colorado Springs; and nephews Collin (Brittany) O’Bryant of Brussels; Belgium; and Shaun (Amber) O’Bryant of Colorado Springs; and great-grandnieces & nephews: Camden, Bryce & Lincoln Phifer; David & Breck O’Bryant, and Corianne, Genevieve & Josephine O’Bryant, all of whom considered Uncle David the patriarch of the family.
Following cremation, David’s ashes will be interred at Maryville Cemetery in Bryant, Illinois. A virtual online memorial and a celebration of his life will be held on an upcoming date to be announced. For further tributes, photos, and information on the November 21, 10 am (Mtn Time) online Celebration of Life gathering, please visit: https://www.gatheringus.com/memorial/david-claude-o-bryant/5596. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to: Conquer Myasthenia Gravis, 275 N. York St., Suite 401, Elmhurst, IL 60126.
November 21, 10 am Mtn Time at https://www.gatheringus.com/memorial/david-claude-o-bryant/5596
David Claude O'Bryant
October 26, 2020
Deepest sympathies to Aunt Sharon and families. Our family still talks about the vacation out west to Colorado Springs and spending several days at your home. We got to see the hot air balloons from the back patio decks, just stunning. A memory we never forgot. We had such a great time and cherish that time together. God bless all during this difficult time. Craig & Shelby McConkey & family