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Mariposa Principal, Howard Bryden, Celebration of Life Memorial

6 years ago by in ( News , Old/New , Schools , Welcome to Brea , Who's Who )

Howard Bryden, 82, passed away March 6. He worked for the Brea Olinda School District for 37 years. He was principal of Mariposa School for 27 years. (courtesy photo Bryden family)

    Brea John Bryden shared his thoughts about his Father’s Celebration Of Life on Facebook, “Thanks for the hugs, kind words, and funny stories. It was a wonderful reunion with beloved Brea teachers, friends, and family. Growing up in Brea rocked.”

      More than 500 people attended the uplifting funeral on March 16 for the former Mariposa School Principal Howard Dunton Bryden, who was 82 years old when he passed. The memorial was filled with love and laughter from all who attended. Former Mariposa teachers Rita Hood, Becky Cotton Martin, and school clerk Sue Nowers put on a skit highlighting Howard’s life and shared special memories with the audience. We were reminded about seeing Howard walk all over town. Also about his love of Mariposa School's May Day celebration, Morning Sing, how he always knew everyone's name, and his patriotism and devotion to the school. In fact, he had such dedication he still wore the Mariposa School sweatshirt well into his 80‘s. His daughter Becky had even called the school recently to see if they had any extras because he wouldn’t take it off long enough for her to wash it.

        His children William, John, Julie, Craig and Rebecca were taught “Do it well, or not all.” They each told how their Dad touched their lives. Dr. Helene Cunningham was a student at Mariposa and is now the principal. She told us about the high standards Howard set. She said his love of the arts would live on.

          Kris Mac Kain said in an e-mail Mr. Bryden was her favorite teacher and she remembered she had to write, "Any superfluous gesticulation from the oral aperture is not needed and certainly not appreciated.” because she talked (too much) when she should have been listening.

            You could hear a pin drop at the services for Howard when a letter about him was read from Ralph’s Grocery part it said, “You could turn a tough day into a better one in an instant. You always remembered our names and those of many of our customers. Everyone knew you. When you walk in the door it would remind us of the sit-com “Cheers.” Everyone would announce “Howard”. It could be heard thoughout the store. Also the honking of cars all over town as you walked around. Certainly many witnessed that! Howard, if the world had more people like you it would be a much better place.

              He served 27 years as principal of Mariposa School, more than any other principal at one school in Brea. In the summers he was a train conductor at Disneyland from 1958 to 1964. Howard’s million dollar smile, and enthusiasm for learning will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

                Susan Gaede has cast her eye on local news for more than 35 years. Contact her at 714-529-8561 or e-mail
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"Thank you" for visiting Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON). First & foremost, I am a proud mother & wife. I am also a well-rounded freelance consultant. But you can call me an enthusiastic cheerleader, supporting and promoting the city of Brea and its historic iconic Charlie's Clock turned "Charlie the Clock cartoon character!" Click on the front page illustration to read about the beloved time traveling talking clock!!

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