EDEN Helena Bryant, of 197 E. Aiken Road, Eden, NC, passed away of pneumonia Wednesday morning, December 26, 2012, at Stanleytown Health and Rehabilitation Center in Bassett, VA. She was 93.
A memorial service celebrating her life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 5, 2013, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Immediately following, the burial will take place at the family site in Overlook Cemetery.
An entrepreneur and intrepid traveler, Mrs. Bryant loved nothing more than to hit the road with friends and family, play bingo, organize reunions - especially the River Rat/Pole Cat - and show those around her a good time.
Mrs. Bryant was born April 26, 1919, in Leaksville, NC, the daughter of the late Lucy Richards and Charles Harvey Aheron. She was a member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church and a retiree of E. I. Dupont, where she worked for 37 years in the chemistry lab. A River Rat - Mrs. Bryant graduated from Leaksville High School and eloped with Herbert Millard Bryant - a Pole Cat - at age 18. Mr. Bryant died in an accident at age 28, and Mrs. Bryant worked multiple jobs to provide for her two children, Millard and Judith.
Mrs. Bryant studied nursing at Shakelford Hospital in Martinsville, where her studies were cut short by an accident, when she fell backwards down an elevator shaft while in service to a patient. Mrs. Bryant also survived colon cancer, broken hips and extensive back surgery.
Mrs. Bryant traveled the world, taking her family and tour groups to China, Egypt, England, Hawaii, and Las Vegas among other places. Immediately after September 11, 2001, she traveled to Egypt to better understand the Arab culture. In her last days, she hated nothing more than being slowed down. Those who knew her agree that she was a "force of nature," probably born a little ahead of her time.
Mrs. Bryant is survived by her son, Millard Lee Bryant and wife, Gail Burgan Bryant, of Ferrum, VA; daughter, Judith Bryant Umminger, and husband, Bruce Umminger, of Chapel Hill; four grandchildren, Lisa Gail McMakin, Herbert Bryant, April Umminger, Alison Umminger Mattison; four great-grandchildren, Elizabeth and Emily McMakin, Margaret Mattison, and Ethan Bryant; and sister, Ruth A. Sisson and husband, Sam, of Lakeland, Fla. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her two brothers, Vercil and Thomas (Mack) Aheron; and husband, Herbert Bryant.
The family will receive friends on Friday evening, January 4, 2013, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., at St. Luke's Episcopal Church.
Condolences may be offered to the family at www.fairfuneralhome.com.