Obituary Listings

AB Bryant

March 17, 1936 January 22, 2024
AB Bryant
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Obituary for AB Bryant

AB Bryant of Valrico went to be with his Lord & Savior on Monday, January 22, 2024. AB was born in Calhoun County, Mississippi, on March 17, 1936. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rev. Arlis Bryant & Birtis McGreger Bryant and brothers, Clartis Bryant, Paul Bryant and Lowell Bryant.

He is survived by daughters, Jennifer Bell (son-in-love Mike) of Valrico, Fl and Karen Craven (Nickea) of Wilmington, NC; bonus granddaughters, Lauren Bell of Ocala, Fl and Shannon Bruot of Ft Wayne, In; brother, James Bryant of Dallas,Tx and sister, Mary Burt (Bryan) of Newton, Ms.

AB was a graduate of Mississippi College where he paid his tuition by working F/T in a cotton mill. He learned at a very young age the value of hard work as the son of a sharecropper (later becoming a preacher). Whether it was cutting down trees, draining slough, milking the family cow before school or plowing in the field, one thing AB knew how to do was work.

AB’s humble beginnings were a catalyst to what would lie ahead and was solidified and forever changed one day in 1948. It was then that his dad shared the gospel with him & he accepted Jesus as his Lord & Savior. Later that same day, AB was baptized in Murphy pond during a revival.

AB’s faith was the essence of who he was & he showed it in countless ways. He was generous with his time, talents and treasures; always willing to help employees, neighbors, family and anyone in between. Whether ringing a bell with a red kettle for the Salvation Army, leading the chamber of commerce, teaching Sunday school or most importantly loving his bride of 58 years the way the Bible teaches in Ephesians 5; AB showed the love of God to all he met. Together he & Ida raised their daughters up in faith so that they too would have a relationship with Jesus.

These values set up are what would become his legacy. He served his country proudly in the US Air Force and began his career with JCPenney in 1959. That tour took them to eight different states and many positions within the company although store manager was his favorite because he liked working alongside his people. His career culminated in 1996 when upon retirement he was honored by Pope AFB in defying gravity in a supersonic flight from NC to SC. Upon landing safely back on land & into retirement, he finally had time to work on his golf game and work in the yard gardening, two of his favorite hobbies.

AB met his true love when she was hired as P/T Christmas help at his store and the position quickly became F/T when they married in February 1965. He would often have to be away for work over the next 31 years, but his heart was always at home with her & his girls. Again, leading by example, showing how a husband is to treat his wife, like a queen with honor, respect & adoration.

It’s only fitting that AB’s generous heart gave us one last gift by staying with us for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Beginning the new year with us to watch his beloved Alabama make another championship run and to see his Bucs finish as the NFC South champions. It was then that he made his final & greatest move, two months and a day after she went home, to be back with his beloved Ida.

Special thanks to Frank & Marielena Lugo for all the food, love, laughs & visits; Bob Bryant for faithfully calling, bringing laughter and hot topics (especially in the absence of Bob’s daddy and AB’s brother Lowell); Robert Kercado for his weekly visits; Pastor John Zeller for bringing church to AB when he could no longer get there; Wendell Bell for the cards and calls of encouragement & love; lifelong friend & confidant, Gerald Peavey; Tyler and Moose for always being there when needed; grand dogs, Gronk (lil man) & Brady who didn’t want to leave his side and especially his chosen son Mike, for all of the unwavering help, love, support, respect, (fried oysters, ribs & collard greens), football analytics, camaraderie & of course the jokes they shared!

“A father is neither an anchor to hold us back nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.”

A celebration of life for AB & Ida will be forthcoming as its fitting they be remembered the way they lived the greater part of their lives, together!

Memorials in AB’s name can be made to The Tunnel for Towers Foundation.

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