The heavens rejoiced on February 24, 2014, when God said, "Lyle 'Skip' Gittens Bryant, your tasks are completed". Born November 25, 1945, in Washington, D.C., he very peacefully ceased breathing at 4:45 a.m. Monday, February 24, 2014, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, Mo., with his wife and daughter at his bedside.
Skip was preceded in death by his mother, Catherine L. Bryant; his grandparents, Alexander and Lela Bryant; and aunts and uncles, Annabell (Ralph) Hook, Lela (Charles) Brisco, William (Evelyn) Bryant, and Walter Arnold. These individuals, especially his mother and Aunt Lucille, put forth every effort to mold him into the outstanding, loving, spoiled man he became.
Skip grew up in Washington, D.C., but frequently visited his grandparents in Pittsburgh, Pa. There he met and married Geraldine Rouse on February 22, 1972. Marriage gave him the "pride and joys" of his life. The union produced one son, Scott, one daughter, Michelle, and a chosen daughter, Carmen. The marriage lasted 42 years until death did them part.
The U.S. Air Force was instrumental in teaching Skip discipline and shaping him into an Air Force man. He enlisted and served 25 years, retiring as a senior master sergeant. He received many medals, awards, decorations, and ribbons. Of course, he received the Air Force Good Conduct Award. His son should know that his father received a ribbon for excellence in marksmanship with small arms. During his time in the Air Force, Skip excelled at his duties working as a radar maintenance technician, in the MOB unit, and with the Air Weather Service Squadron.
Skip tried to be a home husband, but that did not work for him or his wife. His last employer was at HQ AWS/SYDR in Air Weather Service. He saved the government millions of dollars by asking the tough questions on product liability and holding companies responsible for errors. He was especially tough on vendors. He earned the Senior Civilian of the Quarter award.
Skip loved life and lived it to the fullest extent. Education was a top priority. He attained a Bachelor of Arts degree from McKendree University, a Master of Arts in procurement and acquisition management from Webster University, and was a certified professional logistician, widely recognized as the expert of FOA for all logistic inquiries.
He unselfishly donated time as a volunteer and enjoyed every minute doing so. He coached youth bowling at Scott Air Force Base and at Panorama and high school bowling for Belleville East. He was a leader of a DAT team for the American Red Cross, did Junior Achievement at O'Fallon High School, ran Belleville's Bi-Centennial Gift Shop, and assisted with the boys Illinois State bowling tournaments and girls regional tournaments at St. Clair Bowl. He enjoyed league bowling, golf, softball, tennis, playing cards, board games, reading, model railroads, and imparting his wealth of knowledge whether you wanted it or not. Skip was a true trivia buff, especially with history. Probably his favorite of all was "boys night out".
Skip leaves to mourn him his wife, Geraldine Bryant of Belleville, Ill.; his children, Carmen Rouse of Sangre, Texas, Scott Bryant of Belleville, Ill., and Michelle Bryant (John) Barbeau of St. Louis, Mo.; one special aunt, Lucille Arnold; cousins who were like brothers and sisters to him; in-laws who thought he was one of the best; his work family; and friends and acquaintances.
Most people he encountered loved him. He earned the rest, so we must let him go.
Memorials may be made to the USO of Missouri at Lambert Airport. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may call from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, Ill.
Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 1, 2014, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, Ill., with the Rev. Khleber Van Zant officiating, followed by military honors. Private family burial will be held at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo.
GEORGE RENNER & SONS FUNERAL HOME, Belleville, Ill.
George Renner & Sons Funeral Home
120 North Illinois Street Belleville, IL 62220
Published in Belleville News-Democrat from Feb. 27 to Feb. 28, 2014