Elizabeth Bryan

August 13, 1934November 13, 2020

Elizabeth “Betty” Jensen Bryan, 86, died peacefully on November 13, 2020.

Born August 13, 1934, in Geneva, New York, she was the eldest child of the late Viggo and Mildred Jensen.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Arthur Jenson, her first husband, John “Jack” Nielson, and her second husband, Dr. Frederick Bryan Jr.

She is survived by her children: Steve Nielson and wife, Karin; and Alan Nielson and wife, Nicole.

Additionally, she is survived by her grandchildren: Andrew Nielson, Dylan Nielson, Bradyn Nielson, Cody Salter, and Hunter Salter. Other surviving family members include her siblings: Mary Baxter and Roger Jensen. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family members. “Betty,” as her family and friends knew her, lived a fulfilling life.

She was a mother, grandmother, world traveler, tireless volunteer, a woman of faith, and a former beauty pageant winner. She loved seeing musicals, attending classical music concerts, square dancing, reading, genealogy, and scrapbooking.

She spent her childhood in the Finger Lakes region near Geneva, New York. She was an active member of First Baptist Church and the Enterprise Grange, a farming club. A local beauty, she was voted Queen of the Enterprise Grange. In 1952, she graduated from Geneva High School and began working as a telephone operator. She later was employed at New York Electric and Gas, where she met her future husband, Jack. They married on June 22, 1968, and had two sons, Steve and Alan.

Betty relocated to Cary, North Carolina in 1980, after her husband Jack accepted a new job. When Jack died unexpectedly, Betty became the single mother of two teenage boys. Betty worked full-time in finance while making sure her sons made good grades, attended church at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian, pursued their passions, and graduated from high school. She did this with steely determination and a sense of humor. She often joked that after they graduated, she’d buy a convertible. And she did.

In 1991, she married Fred Bryan. During their marriage, they took numerous cruises to Alaska, Norway, and Europe. She also enjoyed a solo cruise through the Panama Canal.

Betty was a faithful servant of the Lord. She used her many gifts by dedicating herself to helping others. She spent countless hours volunteering tirelessly at The Carying Place, Dorcas Shop, and Ten Thousand Villages. She also served as an elder and held other leadership positions at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church.

Her greatest joys were her children and grandchildren, whom she adored. They never doubted her love or presence because she was always there for them.

Betty lived wisely, happily, and faithfully.

While her family would love to hold a funeral and celebrate her amazing life, this is not possible because of current Covid restrictions and social distancing guidelines. A small graveside service will be attended by her sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren.

A celebration of her life will be held in the spring after restrictions are lifted.



  • Graveside Service

    Saturday, November 21, 2020

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Joan Jackson

November 21, 2020

Sorry to hear of the passing of Betty. She was a great neighbor of mine for several years in Troon Village, Cary, NC. We spent quite a few hours playing dominoes at our Clubhouse and visiting on our shared driveways. I have missed her ever since she moved. My prayers go out to her family.