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Bryde, John F.

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August 9, 2008

John F. Bryde II was born August 4, 1920, near Augusta, Kansas, in an area of the oil fields known as Haskins Camp. He received his elementary and high school education in Wichita, Kansas.

 Three months after graduating from Cathedral High School in 1938, Bryde joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) where he spent the next 30 years of his life; 17 of these years in the Roman Catholic priesthood. During this time, he spent 23 years on the Pine Ridge Reservation (Sioux) in western South Dakota. He started as a high school teacher, then was assigned to missionary work for several years, caring for 7 churches covering an area approximately 40 miles by 90 miles.

 In 1955, he was appointed superintendent of Red Cloud Indian School of the Holy Rosary Mission, at that time the nation’s largest mission school, with 531 children in grade school and high school. Here he spent his last 13 years on the Reservation. During these years, he learned the Sioux language fluently and eventually had a weekly radio program in the Sioux language that was aired over 13 stations in the Midwest, including the city of Denver.

At this time, he also earned a doctorate degree in psychology and developed a new field known as Acculturational Psychology which was eventually adopted by many colleges and universities.

In 1968, he changed his priestly life-style, adding marriage to the priesthood. He married Melanie Hondel and moved his Indian ministry to the University of South Dakota at Vermillion, S.D., where he continued working with the Indian people, developing two distinctive programs in higher education for Indian people: 1) Institutes for teachers of Indian students in which such teachers were trained in Indian values in order to better understand their Indian students and, thereby, to do a more effective teaching job, and 2) Doctoral programs for Indian people with master’s degrees by which Native Americans could earn a doctoral major in Indian Education.

He is the author of 6 books and 23 journal articles. Bryde and his wife, Melanie, have 3 children: Melanie, Bonnie and John III.

Survivors include his wife, Melanie (nee Hondel), daughters, Melanie (Justin) Morrill, Seattle, WA, Bonnie (Matthew) Malmberg, Stillwater, MN, and John Francis Bryde III (Stacey), Minneapolis, MN., seven grandchildren, and one sister, Mary Talevich, San Luis Obispo, CA, and one brother, Michael Bryde, Tucson, AZ.

Memorial Services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, August 14, at St. Agnes Church in Vermillion, S.D.

For online condolences and obituary please visit

John was a CORPUS member and attended the Chicago and San Antonio National meetings.