Charlotte Underwood / Staff writer
A well-known Williamsburg business man died Thursday. William D. “Bill” Bryant Jr., former co-owner of W.D. Bryant and Sons in Williamsburg, died Thursday at the Baptist Regional Medical Center in Corbin from health complications. He was 79. He was born March 13, 1933, in Whitley County to the late William D. Bryant Sr. and Daisy (Thomas) Bryant. He was co-owner of W.D. Bryant & Sons for around 40 years, according to his nephew. He was also a member of the Williamsburg Masonic Lodge No. 490 F & AM.
One of 22 children, Bill Bryant was no stranger to hard work, according to his brother and business partner for 40 years, Edger Byant. Bill was also business partners with Marvin Bryant and Bob Bukovitz during that time span as well.
“Bill was a people person who satisfied every customer. He would go out after work and fix a guy’s water pump or an old lady’s sink; he just cared about the people in the community,” Edger Bryant recalled, adding that his brother had served on the city council in his “younger years.”
Bill’s nephew, Lee Bryant, also remembers his uncle as someone who helped anyone that needed it.
“He was a great human being who helped lots and lots of people. He would help people on his lunch hour,” Lee Bryant said, adding that he had heard stories of his uncle fixing things on his lunch hour for people who couldn’t afford it.
Bill Bryant started working at the store in the mid-60s and worked about 40 years before retiring, according to Lee Bryant. He spent much of his retirement on his small farm on the outskirts of town raising cattle and hay.
“He retired in 1994 and had a long, good retirement. He loved to garden and was always giving away fruits and vegetables to people,” Lee Bryant said.
He is survived by his three children, Barbara Bryant, Brenda Jones and William M. Bryant, all of Williamsburg. He is also survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Wilma Bryant, of Williamsburg, two grandchildren, Chad Shelton and Kelsey Bryant, both of Williamsburg, six sisters, Roxie Lee of Williamsburg, Ann Scolaro, of Ohio, Gennie Long, of Barbourville, Sandra Stacy, of Ohio, Betty Bukovitz, of Tennessee and Faye Adams, of Williamsburg, one brother, Edgar Bryant, of Williamsburg, and many nieces and nephews.
“Bill was a great partner and great to work with. He did his part of the job and he did it well and he never brought his problems to work, he always left them at home and was just a great guy to work with,” Edger Bryant said.
Visitation will be from noon until the funeral hour Sunday at Croley Funeral Home. A Masonic Service will be conducted by the Williamsburg Masonic Lodge beginning at 3 p.m. at the Croley Funeral Home Chapel. Reverend Vernon Jones and Reverend Doyle Lester are officiating. He will be laid to rest in the Davis Addition of Highland Park Cemetery in Williamsburg.
Charlotte Underwood / Staff writer
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