Robert Elmer (Bob) Bryan, 93, passed away December 20th at the Beverly Park Place Nursing Home on Tazewell Pike. He was born July 23rd, 1925 in Morristown, the son of Emmert Oral Bryan of Sevier County and Ruby Priscilla Cox Bryan of Jefferson County. Ruby died 16 days after his birth and he was then raised for about two and a half years by his aunt and uncle, Ethel Bryan Cox and Elmer Cox. After Emmert married Kate Nottingham, he rejoined his father’s family with Kate as his stepmother.
Bob attended Knoxville Central High School under the tutelage of such individuals as principal Hassie K. Gresham, math teacher Earl Keller, and Latin teacher Miss Pace Moore (later Mrs. Pace Moore Johnston). He served 34 months in World War II immediately after high school. He served as a medical corpsman, first in the U.S. Navy and then in the U.S. Marines. He served in the 4th Marine Division in the Pacific. The 4th Marine Division was heavily involved in the Iwo Jima campaign and he lost many of his buddies there. His service buddies always called him Pinkie because of his red hair. The nickname never leaked over into the civilian world, but for decades after the war he received Christmas cards each year from friends all over the country addressed to Pinkie Bryan.
Bob returned home from the war in May 1946. Within less than a week, he met Ruth Peters at church. They hit it off immediately and they were married on December 28th, 1946. At the time of his death, they were eight days short of their 72nd wedding anniversary.
He attended the University of Tennessee and Knoxville Business College and had a successful career as an accountant. For many years, he was the chief accountant at Plasti-Line Corporation and he retired as the accountant at Odum Construction Systems. For many years after his retirement and until his late 80’s, he continued working part time as an accountant for a number of small businesses.
Bob’s whole life revolved around church and family. He was a lifelong Methodist, attending Corinth United Methodist Church for many decades and Fountain City United Methodist Church for many decades thereafter. He assumed many leadership positions in the church and continued as an usher at Fountain City United Methodist Church as long as his health permitted. He was a loving son, brother, husband, father, uncle, grandfather, and great grandfather who was very active in his children’s lives. He attended every sporting event, band concert, or any other kind of activity in which his children participated. He managed Little League baseball and girls’ softball for many years at the ball fields of the Fountain City Recreation Commission.
Preceded in death by his parents, brother Jack Bryan, sisters Lena Bryan Truan, and Bonnie Bryan Johnson, grandson Stanley Bryan. Survived by his wife Ruth, sons Jerry Bryan and Darrell (Naomi) Bryan, daughter Priscilla Bryan, grandchildren Ann (Sam) Carter, Peter (Natasha Scheuerman) Bryan, Jesse (Nick) Morris, Micky Bryan, Matthew (Alena) Bryan, Mark (Heather) Bryan, 13 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Internment and brief graveside service at 10:00 a.m. Friday, December 28th at the East Tennessee Veteran’s Cemetery on John Sevier Highway. Memorial Service at Stevens Mortuary at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, December 28th. Receiving of friends after the Memorial Service.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Renaissance Terrace Assisted Living and Beverly Park Place Nursing Home for their loving care of Bob during his last years and days. Memorial donations may be made in memory of Bob to Fountain City United Methodist Church. Arrangements by Stevens Mortuary, Oglewood Avenue at North Broadway.
To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Robert Bryan, please visit our Tribute Store.