Shirley Brenda Major Bryant passed away peacefully on February 22, 2021, in Newnan, Georgia, surrounded and comforted by her family.
Though weak in body at the end, she will forever be strong in spirit to all who knew and loved her.
Brenda, 81 years old, was born in Greenville, South Carolina, fifth in order among ten children born to Frank and Ollie Kellett Major.
Brenda was married to Chester (Chet) C. Bryant of Grantville, Georgia. Together they raised two children Michele Bryant of Ashburn, Virginia, and (Bo) Chester C. Bryant, Jr. of Washington, D.C.
Over the years, the Bryant family followed Chet’s career advancement as he was transferred from city-to-city and state-to-state. In her words: “We made a joint decision as husband and wife that we would go where Chet’s career as a federal agent with Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms would take us…” And move they did.
These life experiences gave Brenda the opportunity to try many careers. Girl scout leader, cub scout den mother, carpool manager, expert chef, homework and school project director, creative family budget accountant, realtor, decorator, paralegal, volunteer, and office manager are just a few among many. But her passion was interior decorating (and the shopping that went with it). Each move provided more opportunities to develop and apply this talent to almost twenty dwellings the Bryants called home, as they traversed the country.
In addition to her many vocations, Brenda enjoyed volunteering for a variety of causes, including charitable organizations as well as local and federal political campaigns. Ultimately, Brenda worked the longest for GE Capital, from where she retired in 1999, after 20 years of service. Congressman Collins recognized her retirement in the House of Representatives on May 26, 1999.
She and Chet returned to Coweta County where they retired together. Brenda loved the beach and spent many vacations with family and friends at their coastal home in Fort Pierce and subsequently Vero Beach, Florida. There she could frequently be found refusing to surrender the karaoke microphone to family and friends, patiently awaiting their turn. She was known for her no-nonsense approach to life’s challenges, eclipsed only by the intensity of her love for her family.
Brenda was preceded in death by her father and mother, as well as her nine siblings. In addition to her husband Chet, she is survived by her two children Michele and Bo, grandson Nicholas Bryant Jackson of Williamsburg, Virginia, as well as a number of nieces, nephews and cousins across the country.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a celebration of Brenda’s life will be held for family and friends on a future date, to be determined.
Although she was a great lover of gardening, in lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where they have established a memorial fund in her name. Contributions can be made at www.giftfunds.stjude.org/BrendaBryant.
Condolences may be made online at www.mckoon.com.
McKoon Funeral Home & Crematory (770) 253-4580.