In Memory

Bryan Jack

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09/24/09 03:10 PM #1    

Chris Surles

Most of us will agree that Bryan Jack was one of the most intelligent people that we ever knew. He was killed on flight 77 on 9-11 as it flew into the pentagon. Oddly enough on any other day he would have been in his office approximately 200 feet from where the plane crashed. The Bryan C Jack Elementary School in Tyler was dedicated in his memory. He was extremely well thought of by his co-workers in the Department of Defense.

10/06/09 06:04 PM #2    

Susan Smith (Daniel)

In addition to being very intelligent, Bryan was a wonderful friend. During the 1990s and until his death in 2001, Bryan would email me when he was going to be in Dallas on his way to visit his parents in Tyler. We would meet for lunch at Neiman Marcus in Northpark. I really looked forward to our lunches. Bryan was very happy with his life. Each time we met, he would first show me the latest paintings by his wife, Barbara Rachko. Barbara is a very talented artist (google her to see some of her work).


A favorite memory of Bryan for me was receiving his wedding announcement. Bryan and Barbara had been a couple for many many years (almost 20?) but marriage had been elusive. When they finally married, Bryan designed an exuberant announcement. It included a photo of Bryan and Barbara on their wedding day. There was no doubt when I saw the photo of how very happy they both were. The announcement also included photos of their two homes--one a charming home in Alexandria Virginia and the other a condo in Greenwich Village, NYC.

Sadly, their marriage happened only months before Bryan was killed.


I have such fond memories of Bryan from debate class and traveling to  many tournaments. During our high school years, Bryan was always kind, helpful, and entertaining. Losing him is a real heartbreak for all who knew him.

11/03/09 04:22 PM #3    

Don Kent

Bryan was certainly one of the smartest people I have known. I enjoyed being on the debate squad with him and getting to know him in that capacity. By traveling with him on many debate trips, I also saw how kind, generous and helpful he was to everyone he encountered. He also had a great sense of humor, though it was sometimes below the surface. He was one of the most fascinating members of our class. May he rest in peace.

04/09/12 02:39 PM #4    

Bruce Powell

I didn't know Bryan very well, but indeed, a highly intelligent and remarkable fellow.  Mainly, I knew him in Mrs. Troutman's class in English.  He seemed to have a great interest in something called "The Trilogy," a group of books by some author I can't recall now.  He spoke eloquently in class when we had to give our reports on reading of various literature.  I remember that I felt highly inadequate in my presentation following his, wondering if I could get any kind of acceptable mark on mine--think I got a B. 

How ironic that his life ended the way it did, how very sad!  It's very fitting that they named a school after him, as he was likely the brightest student I ever saw.  May he rest in peace.


09/12/15 11:01 PM #5    

Mitzi Fox (McCarty)

I remember Bryan walking into Government class with his briefcase and, before he could sit down, someone would ask him some scientific question and he would glibly give the answer right away.  I was so impressed that one day I asked him, "How do you know the answers to all these questions?"  He leaned in across the aisle towards my desk and whispered, "Would anyone know if the answer was wrong?"  Then he winked and smiled at me.  He probably did know the answers but, I think he had a little fun with the ones who were trying to stump him each day.  I only attended Lee from Feb of 69' until we graduated and knew little about him but, I always enjoyed listening to his answers to classmates and when he expounded upon governmental issues we discussed in class.  He was always very sweet and a gentleman from what I saw.  I was very sad to hear that he was on the plane that day.


09/13/15 03:32 PM #6    

Ron Harrison

My favorite memory of Bryan was in senior year math class. Our teacher that year (unfortunately I can't remember her name) was going through some serious health issues and we had a sub most of the year. One she tried to work but had to leave right before our math period. As one would expect, Bryan just took over teaching the class. We were just carrying on with class when Coach Pruett came in and realized we didn't have a teacher. He decided that just wouldn't do and totally disrupted our productive lesson!

09/13/15 11:22 PM #7    

Cheryl Campbell

I first met Bryan in 9th grade math class. I was told that he had had a long illness and that he used his time to read everything he could get his hands on. I knew he was smart right off. And, he was always kind and gentle (sometimes being sick gives you a special empathy for others and maybe that was true for him). He always took teasing in a good-natured way and I admired him for that.

I think of him every 9-11 and a friend took a photo for me when she went to the 9-11 memorial - she used the directory and all of that to find where his name was and took a photo.

I remember he was in charge of the systems part of the Defense Budget (whole thing - hope I'm telling this right) and his supervisor made a comment after 9-11 that they would never ever be able to find anyone to do what he did. He was one of a kind.

I sent his parents a sympathy card and they were kind enough to send me the program from the ceremony at Arlington Cemetery - I thought that was so sweet. They are all in heaven together now.

He definitely left a lasting memory on all of us and inspired us to be all that God made us to be!

09/14/15 02:09 PM #8    

Amy Marable (McBride)

I have two favorite memories of Bryan. I was in his math class, as seniors. I remember listening to Bryan and Nan Hutchins discuss some math problem, Bryan with his Russian hat on. This went on for about a week, me listening to Bryan and his explanations and answers to the problems. I knew I would never make it in that class, trigonometry, as I couldn't understand anything Bryan was saying. I transferred into a study hall typing class as I didn't need the math credit to graduate. Glad I learned to type. Glader, still, to have that week with Bryan.

The second memory is of the Senior Assembly. Frank Muse, Paul Yale, and I had written the text. If you remember our officers were Bryan as President, Rayford Marshall as VP, and Becky Bowles as Secretary. We introduced them as the Mod Squad: One black, one white, and one Baptist preacher's kid. We had asked them before doing so to make sure they were okay with it. Bryan laughed and laughed and laughed. I will always remember his laugh.

I actually was able to locate Bryan's wife, Barbara Rachko, through Susan Daniel's help. We visited by phone for a long time. Barbara said she and Bryan had been partners for many, many years, and that Bryan always wanted to get married. She said how truly grateful she was that they had married just a few months before 9/11.

Something else. I remember hearing on the news that the number of those who died on American Flight 77 and in the Pentagon was 190. Then it went to 189. I remember thinking at the time.... how can they miscount those who have died? Carla Pyle later told me that because the plane crashed into Bryan's office area he was counted as a person in the Pentagon as well as on the plane. I was, as we all are, devastated by Bryan's death. But I remember thinking how he would have loved that they got the math wrong.

Wow. We miss you, Bryan, all of us. God bless you, and your family, always.



09/14/15 03:30 PM #9    

Susan Smith (Daniel)




I love reading all these stories about Bryan and want to add one more (a math class story of course).  Bryan and I were in the  same Geometry class in the 10th grade.  He and I sat across the aisle from each other and on  the front row.  While I had always been a decent math student in previous years, I struggled with  Geometry.  One day, our teacher  Mr Carter, (who also drove a school bus) passed our out latest Geometry test.  I was carefully reading the first problem and just getting ready to attempt a solution, when Bryan stood up and turned his completed test in to the teacher.  He was so accomplished in Geometry that he could finish the entire test while I was just preparing to attempt the first problem.  I also sat by Bryan in Alan Shumate's Debate class.  We all had such a good (and productive) time in that class.  Debate is the class where I really got to know Bryan well and see his kindness and sense of humor.  I know all of his friends still miss him.  




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