Funeral held for slain Nichols Hills fire chief

BY DARLA SLIPKE Modified: September 24, 2011 at 2:33 pm •  Published: September 24, 2011

MUSTANG — Family and friends joked about Keith Bryan’s pranks, his competitive nature and his less-than-stellar golf game Saturday during a memorial service for the longtime Nichols Hills Fire Chief.

Bryan wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, friends said. He was always looking for ways to startle people or make them laugh, said Jim McNabb, pastor at The Bridge Assembly of God.

“If I do anything to make this sad, when I get to Heaven, Keith’s gonna meet me at the gate,” McNabb said Saturday morning.

An estimated 1,600 people gathered inside The Bridge Assembly of God in Mustang to honor Bryan, who was an active member of the church. Guests filled the church and spilled into several overflow rooms. Dozens of firefighters from a variety of communities attended the funeral in uniform.

Bryan, 52, was a 31-year veteran of the Nichols Hills Fire Department, where he became chief in 1991. He was also a former councilman and vice mayor in Mustang, where he lived. His death shocked the community.

Bryan was shot in the head Tuesday night at his home. He died at a hospital the next morning. His wife, Rebecca Bryan, was arrested Friday on a first-degree murder complaint in connection with the incident. The Bryans have two grown sons, Kent and Trent.

Kent Bryan released a statement Saturday thanking people for their support and asking for privacy as his family mourns.

“The help we have gotten, both in large ways and small ways, means the world to us,” the statement said. “It is something we will never forget and will always appreciate.”

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