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Ben Avon journalist was devoted fan of Indy 500

Pack Bryan’s involvement in auto racing was considered legendary by his family and peers.

A journalist and photojournalist for United Press International and freelancer for publications such as Popular Mechanics and Motor Magazine, he attended 59 consecutive Indianapolis 500 races, his son said.

Donald Paxon “Pack” Bryan of Ben Avon died Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010, in Allegheny General Hospital in the North Side. He was 84.

“My father was devoted to the Indy 500 and was a member of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Old Timers Club,” said his son Scott D. Bryan of Charlotte, N.C.

“Since 1952, Dad attended 59 consecutive races,” he said. “Dad never wrote about the actual races, but described the drivers and the men in the pits and what motivated them.”

Born and raised in New York City, Mr. Bryan was one of two children of Big Band-era musician Donald Bryan and his wife, Lois.

He served in the Navy during World War II and was discharged in 1946.

Mr. Bryan received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Rider University in New Jersey. He worked as a traveling salesman for Mercury Outdoor Motors, while freelancing for automotive magazines.

In 1962, Mr. Bryan married Mary Ann Rehusch, a resident of Chicago.

After moving with his family to Ben Avon in 1974, Mr. Bryan continued to freelance while teaching public relations and marketing at Community College of Allegheny County in the North Side.

“My father was a teacher who taught from experience,” Scott Bryan said. “He was also an outgoing man who was ready to strike up a conversation with anyone he met.”

Mr. Bryan was committed to his community, attending Community Presbyterian Church of Ben Avon and serving as a Cub Scout leader.

“Dad was involved in setting up displays in the church for the holidays, such as model railroads for Christmas. He also set up outings for the youth of the church.”

In addition to his son Scott, and his wife, Gayle Bauer Bryan, whom he married in 2004, Mr. Bryan is survived by his son Jay T. Bryan of Ohio Township; five grandchildren; and a sister, Barbara Fox of Beaumont, Texas.

Mr. Bryan was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary Ann Rehusch Bryan, in 2001.

Friends will be received from 1 p.m. until the time of the service at 3 p.m. Saturday in Community Presbyterian Church of Ben Avon, 7501 Church Ave.

Interment will be held at a later date in Lehighton, Carbon County.

Arrangements are being handled by Orion C. Pinkerton Funeral Home Inc., Avalon.


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