Our devoted volunteer, Mr. Don Bryan, passed away on June 6, 2015 at the age of 78. A Memorial Service was held at the Memorial Pagoda in Hsi Lai Temple on June 26. About 40 docents and friends came to join the service.
Before Don came in contact with Hsi Lai Temple, he was the pastor in a Methodist Church. Don became a Buddhist after a chance meeting with our long time docent, Doris. Since the year 2000, Don volunteered as a docent with us, guiding groups on tours to see and understand the temple. He was a very welcomed docent, especially for the elementary and high school students. They loved his humorous talk and knowledgeable guidance. University professors also would request Don as their docent to visit the temple.
Abbot Ven. Hui Dong led the monastics and guests to chant sutras, and he also presented a prayer for Don and his family. More than 10 docents and friends including Neal Golub, president of Lotus SoCal, Nancy Cowardin, Ching Chausse, Al Duffy, Janet Petti, Bob, Raymond Lay, Mario Cee and Elaine Yang shared their good memories of Don. Sakya from the University of the West expressed his gratitude to Don. When he was a student at UWest, Don drove him every weekend to show him the LA Downtown area, and explained American culture to him. Ven. Man Jing from Outreach Department praised Don as a living Bodhisattva. Whenever she needed help from the docents, Don would show up in ten minutes.
On weekends, Don would like to stay in Information Center to help all the visitors know more about the temple. Also, he gave a very useful talk on public speaking during a recent docents’ seminar.
At the end of the service, Don’s wife Netta spoke, and told how Hsi Lai Temple helped Don feel energetic and useful whenever he gave tours.