SKAGIT COUNTY, Wash. - It has been two weeks since a Skagit County Search and Rescue volunteer fell to his death during a rescue mission.
Today, the community gathered in Sedro Woolley to pay tribute to JB Bryson’s life and sacrifice.
Before the last goodbye, JB Bryson was given one last ride through the community he served all his life.
“I think it’s awesome. Absolutely awesome,” said Betty Yeager.
Friends, colleagues, law enforcement and fellow search and rescue members showed up for the procession through Sedro Woolley.
“I grew up with him and his brother and sister,” said Dorothy Priest.
“It was fun working with him,” said Brenda Kroll.
The 62-year-old meant something to a lot of people here.
He was an Army veteran, a member of the local Harley Davidson group and a volunteer ATV technician for Skagit Search and Rescue.
On June 28, Bryson was killed at Pilchuck Falls as he tried to clear a path for rescuers to reach two men who fell off a cliff.
Bryson fell to his death.
One of the hikers also died.
The other man was rescued.
Today, his community wanted to pay tribute and honor a life well-lived.
“A celebration and he’s so worthy of this,” said Priest.
Friend Chet Griffith was with Bryson the night he died.
“The job that he was doing the night he was killed he was doing what he loved to do and that’s help someone else,” said Griffith.
During the memorial service, the Skagit County Sheriff Will Reichardt, spoke of the county’s eight SAR groups.
“Our search and rescue, their motto is we serve so others may live. We serve so others may live is not just words on paper. It certainly wasn’t to JB,” he said.
“As sheriff one of my responsibilities is to coordinate and organize search and rescue. Having worked in the sheriff’s office for over 30 years I can tell you firsthand that without our volunteers I could never ever fulfill that obligation.”
“No one could ask for a better friend than JB. He will be truly missed but never forgotten,” said Griffith during the service at the Sedro Woolley High School football stadium.
The sheriff’s office is still investigating Bryson’s death.
There is a “JB Bryson Memorial Fund” set up at any Skagit Bank branches.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the fund, the Skagit Search and Rescue Council or the Sedro Woolley Fire Department Association.
More information: http://www.skagitsar.com