William James Bryant Jr, age 73, passed away peacefully in Clinton, Tennessee, on Sunday, March 1, 2020 from an extended illness. By his side was his wife of 40 years, Martha (Gourley) Bryant.
He was preceded in death by his father, William James Bryant Sr, his mother, Ardell (Longfellow) Bryant of Knoxville, his youngest sister, Cindy (Bryant) Lemarr of Morristown. Those family members remaining are sisters, Elizabeth Phillips and husband, Robert Phillips of Baton Rouge, LA and Ardell Wallace and husband Danny of Corryton. His mother-in-law, Helen (Helbert) Gourley of Jefferson City, brother-in-law Wayne Gourley and wife Susan of Morristown and brother-in-law Thom Gourley and wife Yda Amith from Salt Lake City, Utah. Honor given to Special “Sons”, who have cared for Bill through the years are Scott Williams of New Tazewell, Jeff Sink of Roanoke, VA, and Billy Gergely of South Bend, IN complete the family as well as all the nieces and nephews.
Reading teacher assistant, personal fitness trainer, a coach of many sports is a few of the professions that fulfilled Bill’s life. It was his desire to be a good teacher, even when the circumstances were challenging. His greatest love was coaching Men’s Tennis and Men and Women’s Cross-Country Runners at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee. He so loved his athletes and families, leaving his mark on the heart of each student and they, in turn, excelled ranking high in the nation in all their ventures. Instead of flowers honoring Bill’s life, it would be Bill’s desire for one to pay it forward in some young students’ lives, athletically or academically. It does not have to be monetary. It could be tutoring those students with academic needs, volunteering as a coach in all sports, being available as a Big Brother or Big Sister at the Boys and Girls Club, become a sponsor for a young person struggling with sobriety. Bill saw so many needs but not enough arms to help. Allow God to open your minds and hearts to the needs of young people.
A Memorial Service, celebrating his life, is scheduled for March 23, 2020 at Heritage Fellowship in Jefferson City, Tennessee. The receiving of family and friends will be from 6 pm-7pm with the service to begin at 7 pm. Jones Mortuary in Clinton TN is charge of all arrangements.