Friday, December 11, 2009

Death of a Great Man

Dr. Vearl Gordon McBride

Vearl Gordon McBride, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed from this world to the next, December 8, 2009, after a full life of service to the Lord, his family, and his profession. He was born September 24, 1919, in Pima, Graham County, Arizona, one of 10 children, to Don Carlos McBride and Emma Jane Hubbard McBride. He is survived by his sweetheart of 66 years, Betty Jean Henderson McBride, whom he married May 14, 1943, in the Mesa Arizona Temple, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and by their children and their spouses: Maurice & Alicia McBride, Dr. Dane & Karma McBride, Darla Anderson, Tanya & James Skeen, Dr. Reo and Keri McBride, Bonnie Colleen & Dr. Alan Whitehurst, and Gina LaRee & Dr. Michael Jones, together with 34 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in a variety of church callings. He served as Branch President or Bishop for the Church in Iowa, North Carolina, and Illinois. Together with his wife, he served as a volunteer missionary for the Church in the Houston Texas Mission, where they taught remedial and rapid reading to over 1800 people, most of whom were not members of his church. For the past 17 years he served as Patriarch of the Roanoke Virginia Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in History and Political Science and his Master's in Educational Administration at Arizona State University. He earned his Ph.D. in education at the University of Virginia. He spent 30 years teaching at the college level, serving as department chairman at three colleges, Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa; Methodist College in Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri. One of his greatest achievements was the creation and development of a unique reading program, which he called "Panoramic Reading." He taught over 10,000 people in 42 states, 3 Canadian provinces, the islands of Samoa, and in Hong Kong. He was able to apply these principles to helping problem readers, including the dyslexic, the emotionally disturbed, the blind and sight-impaired, autistic, deaf, and ADHD students. He felt deeply that the reading program he developed was received through inspiration from the Lord, and he was quick to share the blessings of that gift. The family expresses its deep gratitude to the entire staff at the Brandon Oaks Rehabilitation and Nursing Center who so lovingly and excellently cared for our father in the final weeks of his life. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 12, at 11:00 a.m. in the LDS Roanoke Virginia Stake Chapel located at 6311 Wayburn Drive, Roanoke, Virginia. A viewing will be held on Friday evening 3:00-5:30 p.m. at Oakey's South Funeral Home and 9:00-10:30 a.m. at the church prior to the services. Interment will be in the Ferguson Family Cemetery in Roanoke County.

I would like to add that he was a great missionary to the end, handing out over 1,000 copies of the Book of Mormon (after 900 he stopped counting) before his death, his last act, a great physical effort surged forth from him to offer his unspoken testimony to a male CNA who had cared for him in the hospital, having instructed his son to give a Book of Mormon and a tip to the man. He lived as though he were on a perpetual full-time mission. His handing out copies of the Book of Mormon was the same to him, as his mission to teach people to read and read faster. It is all education--giving people tools to improve their minds and lives.

Learning To Read,7048726&dq=dr%20vearl%20mcbride&hl=en

Patriarch gives away 880 Books of Mormon

New Methods Help Dyslexics Speed Read,1776442

Vearl G. McBride left behind his wife of 66 yrs, 7 children, 6 children in-laws, 32 grandchildren, 11 grandchildren in-law, 24 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, 1 son in law, and 2 grandchildren.

From the Deseret News, June 18, 1966: "Eleven year-old Tanya McBride claims to be the fastest reader in the world. She was trained by her father, Dr. Vearl G. McBride, chairman of the department of education and psychology at Methodist College, Dunn NC. He specializes in teaching rapid or 'panoramic' reading. Mr. McBride is the Branch President of the Dunn Branch, Raleigh Stake, NC.

I took classes from "Pampa" as we called him, as a child. One of my fondest memories was when I was embarrassed and frustrated that everyone else could speed read, but I, the youngest in the class, just wasn't getting it. In frustration one time, I pretended to speed through an entire book, and just fibbed about having comprehended it. I got all sorts of attention, "Ginny was the fastest! Wow!" and then he asked me to stay after as he sent the class out to do his specially designed exercises. He quizzed me about the contents of the book, with my parents nearby. When it became obvious that I'd lied, he didn't flinch for a moment, and just said, "Ginny, we are very proud of you. You can go now, thank you." My mother was tense, and I could tell almost jumped down my throat for dishonesty, but he smiled with a twinkle in his eye, knowing, and understanding why I'd done it. He never exposed my lie to the class, and continued to praise me, as though I'd actually done it. I knew that he knew, but I also knew that he didn't want to embarrass me or discourage me by direct confrontation. He never spoke to me about that for the rest of my life, and never told anyone else either. That's the kind of patience and enduring love it takes to reach children, and he reached thousands. Pampa, you will live forever, because of the legacy you left behind.


  1. Thanks for posting those, I enjoyed reading them. He really was a Great man, y'all were very fortunate to have him in your lives.

  2. I want to copy of his book damn the school system ...
    Can you help me?

    1. a great man indeed RIP DR. Mcbride.
      i am also looking eagerly for his work Damn the school system.
      unfortunately it is very difficult to come by.. would love to know where it is possible to obtain a copy.

      thanks & bless,
      holy land

    2. Even though his book is so "darn" hard to find, recently, two of his key reports that were published during his lifetime have surfaced in a US Government archive. They are located on the following web page:

  3. This is the man that changed my whole life. I have been looking everywhere for someone to explain to me what his teaching technique involved? I know i can read now but i was so young when i cant remember much at all thanks