Patricia Grace Downey Bryant
Patricia D. Bryant, of Northport, Alabama, went home to be with her Lord on Thursday, September 26, 2019. Mrs. Bryant was born on January 13, 1936 to Charles H. Downey and Ruth Jamison Downey in Neptune, New Jersey. She was preceded in death by her husband of almost 60 years, Morris Edward Bryant. A loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grand mother, Patricia presented herself as a Godly example for her family and friends. Homegoing celebrations for Mrs. Bryant will be Monday, September 30, 2019 at First Baptist Church Tuscaloosa, 2pm with visitation from 12 to 2 pm.
Growing up in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Patricia was saved and baptized around the age of twelve at First Baptist Church, Asbury Park before moving with her parents to the Panama Canal Zone. After attending and graduating from Balboa High School the family moved to Miami, Florida. There she attended the University of Miami to pursue a career in Nursing. That career was soon put on hold, for it was then God placed in her life a young airman from Millport, Alabama. Meeting on a blind date, Patricia and Morris fell in love and married.
Spending the early years of marriage in the south Florida area, Patricia and Morris attended Jupiter Baptist Church, Jupiter, Florida. There Patricia served in various ministries including the music ministry, Vacation Bible School, as the church secretary, teaching, visitation, and, believe it or not, she was involved in building of the church camp, Camp Mercy.
Possibly the greatest lifestyle change for Patricia occurred in 1969. After living her entire life in highly populated metropolitan areas, Patricia and Morris moved their family to rural Lamar County, Alabama. Although a major change, she quickly adapted to make her family a home in the Hightogy community. In addition to the change from “city life” to “country life”, Patricia now found herself with a newly acquired extended family. As an only child, Patricia became part of a family with nine brothers and sisters and their spouses. Once again, she welcomed the challenge and, realizing only God can give someone lots of brothers and sisters when they have none of their own could perhaps explain why Ruth was her favorite book of the Bible. As a result of her response to these changes, it might be said Patricia took on the mantra attributed to Ruth in Chapter 1 Verse 16: “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will my people and your God will be my God.”
Upon their move to Lamar County, Alabama in 1969, Patricia and Morris attended Oakes Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in the Crossville community. There they were responsible for the choir programs and music with Morris directing and Patricia playing the piano for Oakes Chapel Church. In 1993, the Lord moved them to First Baptist Church Vernon where they continued to share their God-given talents. In addition to serving on various church committees, Patricia sang in the choir and, with her husband, regularly visited and sang at nursing homes and assisted living centers in the area. This was a great ministry and a blessing to many, but they felt they received the biggest blessing of all.
“Mom”, as Patricia was called by her grandchildren and great grandchildren, enjoyed spending time with all of them. Since they came in a wide range of ages, she has attended dance recitals, majorette tryouts, and baseball, football and basketball games. She has enjoyed band concerts, choral concerts, musicals, and numerous birthday parties. Mom loved her family dearly but most of all she loved our Lord and Savior and served Him to the best of her ability.
In 2010, Patricia and Morris moved to Northport, Alabama. During her final years, Patricia regularly attended First Baptist Church Tuscaloosa. There she and Morris were members of the Good Samaritan Sunday School Class.
Patricia is survived by her daughters Melinda Bryant Herren (Dan), Bonnie Bryant Corbett, (Mike), and son Andrew Paul Bryant (Greta), all of Northport, Alabama; grandchildren, Dana Herren Warren (Ty) of Florence, Alabama, Nathan Bryant Herren (Elizabeth) of Somerset, Kentucky, Joseph Lee Bryant (Ashlyn) of Northport, Tyler Austin Corbett of Tuscaloosa, Benjamin Paul Bryant and Daniel Raymond Crossley Bryant both of Northport; great grandchildren, Addison Grace Warren, Graham Tyler Warren, Rylee Kate Herren, Carson Bryant Herren, Luke Thomas Warren, Micah Gray Herren, and Russ Colton Warren. In addition to her children, grand and great-grandchildren, Patricia is survived by her sister’s-in-law Bernice Bryant, Gail Bryant Fields, and brothers-in-law Waymon Fields and Sammy Byrd, along with a host of nieces and nephews. Mom’s special friend Nancy Budzius whom she loved like a daughter.
Pallbearers for Mrs. Bryant include: Danleigh Bryant, Keith Bryant, Mark Bryant, Tim Fields, Joshua Cashier and Byron Claybrook.
Honorary pallbearers include: Dr. Hayes Boyd’s Good Samaritan Sunday School Class, First Baptist Church Tuscaloosa; Brookdale Senior Living residents and staff, Northport; and Dr. Brian Wilhite and Staff, Tuscaloosa.
Memorial services for Mrs. Bryant will be at 2:00 PM on Monday, September 30, 2019 at First Baptist Church Tuscaloosa, with visitation from 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM. Dr. Gil McKee and Reverends David Woods and Nathan B. Herren officiating the ceremonies. Burial will be at Mount Olive Baptist Church Cemetery in Millport, Alabama with Magnolia Chapel Services conducting. The family will receive friends around 4:30 PM at Mount Olive Baptist Church.