Wilson L. Bryant, Jr.
January 24, 1926 – June 15, 2022
Wilson L. Bryant, Jr., 96, renowned for his memory of all things, scholar, baseball fanatic, died of natural causes on June 15, 2022. Born in Arcadia, FL, he was the eldest of WL and Hattie Bryant’s 9 children. He attended 7 schools before 7th grade. He was taken in by his grandparents who shortly thereafter died in a tragic car accident when he was 14. After that, he lived and worked in the back of a restaurant owned by his former teacher and her husband, Ida Mae and Bill Greene, who eventually adopted him. Fortunately, they encouraged his education and he stuck at it. He moved with them to Newcastle, Neb., where he graduated from high school and joined the Navy at the age of 17. He remembered every day of his Navy career and saw the world, including skiing on Mt. Hood, which was remarkable for a Florida boy. He counted himself fortunate to have been near Saipan on an air/sea rescue patrol and never called on to rescue anyone.
After the Navy, he graduated from Wayne State Teacher’s College, and then taught 5 classes and coached 4 sports in Tilden, Neb. He knew a fellow teacher, Dorothy Johnsen, for 2 years before finally asking her out. After dating only a short time they were engaged at midnight on New Year’s Eve and married on May 28, 1950. Wilson became superintendent of a small country school and also owned a furniture business. In 1957, the family moved to Albuquerque, NM, where he taught math and coached baseball and cross-country at Highland High School. He was the first computer science teacher in the Albuquerque Public Schools and went on to earn two Master’s degrees from New Mexico Highlands Univ. After retiring in 1987, he volunteered thousands of hours helping seniors with their taxes, eventually becoming the head of New Mexico’s Tax-Aide Program. Wilson and Dorothy were active members in Trinity United Methodist Church. They enjoyed baseball, bridge, golf, traveling, and dancing to big band music.
In 2009, Wilson and Dorothy moved to Longmont to be closer to family. They joined Longs Peak UMC and loved their time with grandchildren. After Dorothy died in 2018, Wilson moved to AltaVita Assisted Living so that he didn’t have to cook for himself! There he could still enjoy his life-long love affair with grits and eggs and iced tea.
He is survived by 3 sisters: Annie Pearl Espinosa, Laura Belle Daniels, and LaQuita Caltabiano; 3 children: Donna Bryant (Donald Stanford) of Chapel Hill, NC, Larry (Melinda) Bryant of Monument, CO, and Susan Bryant (Amine Tarhini) of Longmont; 6 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. His family would like to thank everyone at AltaVita and LPUMC for their friendship and care. In accordance with his wishes, the family will hold a private celebration.