Walt Bryant Jr. (1950-2020)
Celebration of Life Services for Walt Bryant, 70, of Grand Saline, was held Saturday, January 2, 2021, at 3 p.m. I've had a mistake filled afternoon. Grand Saline High School Gymnasium, with Bro. Eddie Paul Stanley, Dr. Royal Becker, and Paul Trent officiating, under the direction of Bartley Funeral Home.
Walton Edward Bryant Jr. went to the presence of our Lord on December 25, 2020. Walt was born on August 16, 1950 in his hometown of Grand Saline, Texas at Cozby-Germany Hospital. He spent his 70 years of life in Grand Saline with family and serving others. Walt was a graduate of the GSHS, Class of 1968. He made memories on the football field where he played tackle and was a member of the FFA. He was an active Scout member for 10 years receiving the “God and Country Award” in 1966. After graduation, he went on to obtain degrees at both Tyler Junior College and East Texas University. He started work at the Salt Mine in 1970 and retired after 43 years of service. Walt was a member and trainer of the Mine Rescue Team. The team won several national championships, and Walt was inducted into Mine Rescue Hall of Fame on July 15, 2004. Matthew 5:16 states, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.” Walt was very active in his community. He served on the Grand Saline Volunteer Fire Department for 16 years and was Fire Chief for almost 9 years. He was a member of the Grand Saline School Board for several terms. Walt also enjoyed coaching the “undefeated” Jackrabbit soccer team and assisting Indians on the football sidelines. Titus 2:7-8 states, “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, have nothing evil to say about us.” Walt actively served in every church he attended throughout his life. He loved to share the word of the Lord to all who would lend an ear. He was currently attending Van United Methodist Church where he and his wife, Leta, have been members since 2017. Together they attended the New Beginnings Sunday school class. He served on the Finance Committee and supported all ministries within the church.
Walt loved life. He had a contagious laugh and never met a stranger. His hobbies included hunting, fishing, playing guitar, hiking, traveling, and taking on “projects”. However, one of his greatest joys was spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He witnessed the importance of Jesus onto each of their hearts. Walt was blessed with a large loving family. He was married to his love and partner in crime, Leta Ellis Bryant. They were married over 3 years but experienced a lifetime of memories. To see them together was to see true joy. It is said that your legacy is not what you accomplish here on earth, but what you instill in the hearts of those left behind. As Psalms 74:4 states, “We will not keep them from our children; we will tell the next generation about the Lord’s power and his great deeds and the wonderful things He has done.”
Walt is survived by his wife, Leta, his children Janley and Jon Appleton, Jarrod and Starla Bryant, Jason and Heather Smith, Matthew and Amanda Grace, Jeremy and Heather Grace, and Becky Grace Miller, his 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Other family members include sister, Fran, and her husband Ron Sorrells.
Walt was preceded in death by wife, Nan Bryant, and his parents, Walt and Verlie Bryant.
His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25:23