CHARLESTON, IL – Ewen “Lefty” Bryden Ph.D., 97 of Charleston, Illinois passed away Tuesday, March 8, 2022. A visitation will be held on Friday, March 18th from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Adams Funeral Chapel in Charleston with a service to follow at 7 PM. Inurnment will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in his honor may be made to the Charleston Parks and Recreation Foundation and left at the visitation/service or mailed to Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, IL 61920.
Ewen was born January 23, 1925, in Waterford, Connecticut, the son of Harland D. and Grace (Rice) Bryden. He married Mary Ellen Ramsey on February 2, 1952, in Springfield, Ohio, and they shared seventy wonderful years of marriage. Ewen is survived by his loving wife; two sons, William (Lois) Bryden of Seymour, IN, and David (Denise) Bryden of Jerseyville, IL; four grandchildren, Sarah (Collin) Crawford of Jerseyville, IL, Andrew Bryden of Glen Carbon, IL, Brett Bryden of Jerseyville, IL, and Chloe Bryden of Seymour, IN; and two sisters, Esther Murphy of Florida and Holly (Albert) Tingley of Arizona. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Ona Hiller and Allison Desormeaux; and granddaughter, Addie Bryden.
After three years in the Navy, Lefty attended Mitchell College in Connecticut and Wittenberg University in Ohio. He first taught and coached 3-4 sports per year at 2 different high schools in Ohio in the 1950’s. Through the 1960’s he was the recreation director at North American Rockwell in Columbus while working on his doctorate at Ohio State. He then founded and chaired the Department of Recreation & Leisure studies at Eastern Illinois University where he worked for 22 years before retiring in 1991.
He always loved baseball. In high school, he was the only left-handed pitcher on the team, leading to the nickname of Lefty, which stuck the rest of his life. Lefty played professionally from 1946-1950 with the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Athletics organizations, and once pitched both games of a double-header. He then played semi-pro baseball for another 13 years. After baseball, Lefty enjoyed working out and swimming well into his 90’s along with bicycling, tennis, barbershop singing, and researching genealogy. He served on numerous boards and held officer positions with park & recreation associations and churches in both Ohio and Illinois throughout his adult life.
Please visit www.adamsfuneralchapel.com to leave condolences for the family.