Susan Kathleen Bryan

June 17, 1944August 20, 2018

Susan Kathleen Bryan was born June 17, 1944 in Lufkin, Texas to Helen Debus and L. R. James. Known to friends and family as “Kathie”, she passed away Monday, August 20, 2018 at Larkspur Rehab where Hospice in the Pines oversaw her last days. Kathie was 74 years old and is survived by her brother and his wife: Paul and Patricia James and their two sons: Mark and Keith James, all of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and her sister: Janet Fulton and her two daughters: Kate Fulton Mathews and Julia Fulton, all of the Houston, Texas area; as well as several great-nieces and great-nephews. Known for her wit, humor, and intelligence, Kathie was a knowledgeable and talented person who contributed to the East Texas community with her considerable creative gifts. She received a degree in the Arts from SFA where she studied painting, sculpture, and art history. She also attended graduate school and taught classes in life drawing and art history. Kathie married James A. Bryan Jr. of Lufkin and moved with her husband first to Los Angeles and then to Salt Lake City. She was instrumental to her husband’s motion picture productions by building costumes and props and designing sets. Kathie was a talented artist, painter, sculptor, and designer. Returning to Lufkin to care for her aging parents, Kathie opened a costume shop called Zumba Marumba with her sister-in-law and best friend, Suzette Gomez. For over a decade the pair provided gorgeous and colorful costumes to Lufkin and the surrounding areas. Joining with sister-in-law and good friend Sandy Bryan along with Suzette Gomez, she worked with the Junior Chamber of Commerce to create several outstanding presentations for the annual Miss Lufkin Pageant. After struggling with Small Cell Carcinoma for several months, she has found her rest. Services for Kathie will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, August 28, 2018 in the Henderson Chapel of First United Methodist Church. Kathie will be interred in the Garden of Memories Memorial Park next to her parents. Pallbearers will be David Mathews, Robert Flores, Kevin Ferrara and Jennings Naranjo. Honorary pallbearers will be Zach Bryan and Michael Gomez. Services have been placed in the trust of Gipson Funeral Home.


  • Paul and Patricia James and two sons, Mark and Keith James, Brother and his Wife
  • Janet Fulton and her daughters, Kate Fulton Mathews and Julia Fulton, Sister
  • Kathie was also survived by several great-nieces and great-nephews.

    She was preceded in death by her parents, Helen (Debus) and L. R. James.

  • David Mathews, Active Pallbearer
  • Robert Flores, Active Pallbearer
  • Kevin Ferrara, Active Pallbearer
  • Jennings Naranjo, Active Pallbearer
  • Zach Bryan, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Michael Gomez, Honorary Pallbearer


  • Visitation Tuesday, August 28, 2018
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Susan Kathleen Bryan

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Jeanie Freeman-Harper

August 23, 2018

Kathie was probably my best friend in high school, and we attended S.FA. together for awhile Then we lost track of each other. Life took us from our hometown into the big world.

I can share with you the teen-age Kathie I knew. First and foremost, she was an individualist. She followed her own path and was secure in her own unique personality. She was funny with a dry sense of humor that caught you off guard....but such was her style and wit.....low key and off-kilter.

She was creative in every aspect of her life and was just starting to blossom as an artist when I knew her. She was a loyal friend to me and others within her tight-knit circle. If she took a shine to you, it was because she saw something unique, even when you had no clue. I will always treasure the sleep-overs, the school activities, the mad-cap falling down fits of laughter. I have missed her for many years, but her memory lives on.

Rita Register

August 23, 2018

So sorry for the loss of a special person. My Prayers are with each and everyone that Kathy touched their lives in some way. Love to all.