Joe E. Bryant Jr.

Obituary
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On Wednesday, January 8, 2014, Joe E. Bryant, Jr., went from labor to reward. He was born to Rev. Joseph Elmo and Bessie Versie Bryant in Beaumont, TX on April 11, 1931. After attending Hebert and Pipkin Elementary Schools, he graduated with honors from Charlton-Pollard High School in 1948. He became a member of the first class of African Americans to attend Lamar College. In 1949, Joe joined the United States Air Force and became a member of one of the first integrated units of the armed forces. He also served in the United States Infantry and achieved the rank of 1st Lt. and Company Commander in two years. He married Mavis Lee Dawson in 1953 and to this union two children were born. Upon returning to Texas, he earned his Bachelor's Degree from Prairie View A & M University in 1956. Joe began his education career with the South Park Independent School District as a Life Science teacher at Odom Middle School and remained there for 12 years. During that period of time, he became one in the first group of African Americans to attend and graduate from The University of Texas at Austin, earning his Masters of Education in 1961. He also attended The University of Buffalo, New York; New York State University at Cortland, New York; and Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota. A full career in education followed his classroom teaching as Joe served as assistant principal of Forest Park High School (1968-1970), principal of Odom Middle School (1971-1977), principal of Hebert High School (1977-1982), principal of South Park High School (1982-1986) and as director of the Adult Education program (1986-1989) for the Beaumont Independent School District. He also served as chairman of the Schools and Central Division of United Appeals, was one of the first black board members of the Metropolitan Y.M.C.A., and served as chairman of the board of the L. L. Melton Family Y.M.C.A. Joe was known for several achievements and recognitions including, co-chairman of the committee that combined and integrated the teachers in the South Park South East Texas unit of the Texas State Teachers Association, first black representative for Region Five of the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals, first black member of the Rotary Club of Beaumont, one of four African Americans in the first class of Leadership Beaumont, and first black administrator in an integrated school in Beaumont as the Assistant Principal of Forest Park High School. In 2010, he was recognized as a 'Precursor' - one who comes before and opens doors for others - by the University of Texas. Joe has been listed in Personalities of the South and was selected as Citizen of the Year by Alpha Chi Zeta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. He has also been recognized for outstanding service by West Tabernacle Baptist Church, Starlight Baptist church and the faculties of Hebert and South Park High Schools. He was a life member of the PTA, NAACP, University of Texas Alumni Association - Texas Exes and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. After several years as a widower, he later married Annie Lee Sanders in 2000. They enjoyed many years of domestic and international travel during the greater part of their retirement years. He was also often known to be 'gone fishing' - one of his favorite pastimes. Joe enjoyed singing in the Male Chorus and was a deacon in the Starlight Baptist Church. He was preceded in death by his wives, Mrs. Mavis Bryant, and Mrs. Annie Lee Bryant. On Wednesday, January 8, Joe went home to be with the Lord surrounded by his family. He leaves to mourn his legacy, daughter, Tara Denise Bryant-Buxie (Francis); son, Joseph E. Bryant, III (Shelia); granddaughter, JaNasea Bryant all of Beaumont, TX; granddaughter, Courtney Michelle Watson (Landy) of Conroe, TX; sisters, Ammer Jane Smith and Bettye Jo Felder (Hollis) of Houston, TX; brother, A. B. Bryant (Francis) and a host of family, friends, church members and fraternity brothers. Visitation will be at Mercy Funeral Home on Wednesday, January 15 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday, January 16 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Starlight Missionary Baptist Church. His service will be held at 11 a.m. with an Omega Service by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. The Rev. Troy L. Allen, PhD is the officiating celebrant and the eulogy will be delivered by Dr. Myron D. Barnes, Sr. Burial will follow at Live Oak Cemetery.

Funeral Home
Mercy Funeral System Inc. - Beaumont
1395 Gladys St.  Beaumont, TX 77701
409-833-8656
Funeral Home Details
Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Jan. 14, 2014
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