Forrest Bryson Profile Photo
1945 Forrest 2024

Forrest Bryson

June 26, 1945 — February 13, 2024

Forrest Lee Bryson went to his heavenly home peacefully on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 surrounded by loved ones. His funeral will be held on February 19, 2024 at 11:00am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints located at 3325 North 12th St in Abilene, Texas followed by a military honors ceremony at the Texas State Veterans Cemetery at 7457 W Lake Rd, Abilene, TX, where he will be buried. A viewing and celebration of life will be hosted on Sunday, February 18, 2024 from 6:00pm-8:00pm at the same location as the funeral service.

Forrest is preceded in death by two children: Kristina Lee and Kevin Vern, his parents: Vern and Sybil Bryson, and in parents-in-law: Gordon and Lucella Bergstrom.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Mardene Bergstrom Bryson of Abilene, TX; 7 remaining children and their spouses: Kenneth and Sherry Bryson of Spanish Fork, UT; Kimberly and Hank Elliott of Abilene, TX, Rebecca and Leo Montgomery of Port Orchard, WA; Scott and Amber Bryson of Orem, UT; Daniel Bryson of Spanish Fork, UT; Amanda and Mathew Perrydore of Abilene, TX; and Kyle and Courtney Bryson of Ogden, UT; as well as 29 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

Forrest was born June 26, 1945, to Vern and Sybil Bryson in Fort Worth, Texas. He was the second of 5 children. Forrest has 2 brothers: Britt Bryson and Craig Bryson; as well as 2 sisters: Nadine Turner and Elaine McGrath. After graduating high school in Seattle, WA, Forrest served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in San Paulo, Brazil. Upon his return, he moved to Provo, UT to attend Brigham Young University. While there, he met the love of his life and eternal companion, Mardene Elaine Bergstrom. They were married for time and all eternity on September 7, 1968, in the Oakland, California Temple. In 1970, after graduation where he earned a bachelor's in history, the couple returned to San Jose, California and welcomed their first child, Kenneth Gordon. In September of that year, Forrest received orders to report to the Air Force Officers training program in Chandler, Arizona where he became a B-52 pilot. The family was then stationed at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, TX. There they purchased a home and over the next several years welcomed their 3 daughters, Kimberly Ann, Rebecca Dawn and Kristina Lee and a son: Kevin Vern. In 1980, the family was transferred to Guam. They welcomed 3 more children during their 5 year stay there: Scott Everett, Daniel Eric, and Amanda Luise. The family then was transferred to Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Maine. They welcomed their final child: Kyle Andrew. Forrest completed his 20-year career with the United States Air Force, retiring in September of 1990. In October of that year, the family moved back to their home in Abilene, Texas. After years of working for the church, Forrest and Mardene were approached with the idea to open a candy store in the Mall of Abilene. In September 1998, The Chocolate Box opened their doors and began serving Abilene citizens. Forrest, Mardene, their children and grandchildren worked together and built the store into the staple it is today. In the 25 years since the store opened, Forrest has been a constant working the register and taking care of customers. Forrest and Mardene were frequently surrogate grandparents to all the mall employees and many regular customers. They have touched countless lives running the candy store as well as through their service at church and in the community.

Forrest proudly served the Air Force where he loved being a pilot and deepened his fascination of history and airplanes. During his career, he served in Vietnam and earned several awards including AF Commendation Medal, AF Outstanding Unit Award, Republic Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Device, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and many others.

He enjoyed sports, reading and war movies. He loved to sing and enjoyed sharing that love of music with others. Most especially, he loved being with his family. Forrest was a family man above all else. He loved his wife deeply and enjoyed spending every minute with her he could. He made every effort to attend all his children's and even, grandchildren's activities and sport events. He was always helping with homework taking every opportunity to be the teacher he was meant to be. He loved playing with his grandchildren and always offered "Papa's Daycare" to all of them, earning himself the nickname, "Poopy pants Papa". His family was his greatest pride and joy. Forrest and Mardene had so much love that they often were "adopting" those who needed it and treating them as family. They cherished that families are forever. Most of all, Forrest had a very strong testimony of his Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. While he was not a man of many words, he was always willing to share his testimony. He was a giving man, and the most precious gift he could give was his firm foundation of faith. He often said he didn't feel he live an extraordinary life; however, we all know he leaves behind a great legacy, a legacy of love and faith.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Forrest Bryson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, February 18, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

3325 N 12th Street, Abilene, TX 79603

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, February 19, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

3325 N 12th Street, Abilene, TX 79603

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Monday, February 19, 2024

1:00 - 1:30 pm (Central time)

Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Abilene

7457 West Lake Road, Abilene, TX 79603

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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