Lt. Colonel James McDonald Bryant (USAF, Ret.)
March 6, 1925 – January 20, 2020
James McDonald Bryant of Old Hickory, Tennessee was born March 6, 1925 and passed away January 20, 2020.
Funeral Services will be conducted at Hermitage Funeral Home on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 2:00 pm with Dr. Jud Hays officiating. Visitation is from 12:00 pm until the time of the service. Retired Military Honors and Interment will follow at Hermitage Memorial Gardens.
Lt. Colonel James M. Bryant (USAF, Ret.) passed away this week. Faithful and true, he was a loving husband, a godly father, and a good friend. He will be missed.
In the early 1930’s Jim, a young country boy in Alabama, looked up from playing in a field to see a squadron of P26 Fighters fly overhead. From that day, Jim’s soul was colored with the color of the Sun and deep Air Force Blue.
As a romantic at the age of 6 he offered robin’s eggs, gathered from the heights of a train trestle he had scaled, as proof of his immeasurable love. Jim started his search for life’s companion early. At the age of 23 he found her. With two hearts as one and with Jesus as their cornerstone, Jim Bryant and Joyce Bolton were married. They held hands, sang, raised three children, and touched the world with goodness for 66 years. Even after Joyce passed away in 2015, Jim could be heard singing in a whispered voice “Joyce is my choice.”
His sons survive with their wives. Robert and Marie share with Mark and Linda the joyous thought that Jim and Joyce are reunited. Sadly; Jim and Joyce’s daughter, Bethany, died shortly after her mother’s passing. Gladly, we declare, “There is consolation in God’s mercy.”
Remaining, the grandchildren he delighted in are Lara Bryant, Alex Whitmore and his wife Rachel, Justin Bryant, and Stacey Evans and her husband Robert. A blessing to their great-grandfather; Jamesen, Dyllen, and Benjimen Bryant (Justin Bryant), Barron Evans (Stacey and Robert Evans), and Norah Kate (Alex and Rachel Whitmore), in turn are blessed to discover the legacy of a righteous man.
Besides his wife Joyce, preceding James in passing are his father Jim Bryant, his mother Jennell Saxton Bryant, and his step mother Maudie Mae Bryant (Mom). His cousin Burney Bryant, who was like a brother to James, has also gone before. If these loved ones have been allowed to help Jesus prepare a place for Jim; he is assured a front porch rocker, a great choir, good home cooking, and proof heaven is filled with things sweeter than stolen watermelon.
In his career in the military, Jim was known as a ‘Three Headed Monster’. He was rated as a pilot, a navigator, and a bombardier. He was vigilant. While all of that was important to him; maybe, more telling is that he thought that holding a dying hummingbird in his hands, nurturing it to health, and then watching it fly away was one of the greatest things he ever did. In a way, that moment sums up his entire life. He grieved for us, nurtured us, and lifted us up toward God.
Now, like the hummingbird (or a P26),… James has flown.
- Visitation Sunday, January 26, 2020
- Funeral Service Sunday, January 26, 2020