GREEN TOWNSHIP - Barbara Bryson didn't lead much of a public life but played a major role in the lives of her nine brothers and sisters and their families.
She had worked as a young woman as a server at Downtown restaurants.
Then, as what her husband calls "a quick and meticulous cleaner," she started to clean house and was self-employed for 22 years.
"She had between 20 and 25 clients and never had to advertise," Roger Bryson said. "It was all word of mouth."
Mrs. Bryson, 59, died Tuesday afternoon at University Hospital. She was getting ready for work Monday morning in the Green Township home she shared with her mother and husband when she suffered a stroke. Mrs. Bryson's corneas were harvested for donation, her husband said.
More than her work, Mrs. Bryson is remembered by those closest to her as the glue of her large immediate and extended families.
She was one of 10 children.
"She kept everyone informed, she made sure everyone knew what was going on," said one of her sisters, Nancy Stahl of Bridgetown.
And she entertained, at least three or four times a year. When Mrs. Bryson's father died seven years ago, her mother, JoAnn Tudor, moved in. And with her came the annual family Christmas party. But Mrs. Bryson moved it from the week before Christmas to the week between Christmas and New Year's.
"That way, more people would be there," Roger Bryson said. "It was not uncommon to have 60 or 80 people here. We'd had cars parked in the front yard."
She'd put up a party tent in the backyard, near the pool. If family members wouldn't call her back, she kept calling them until they connected.
Mrs. Bryson had a mind for details. She knew what each of her guests liked to drink, right down to the brand of mixer they preferred, her husband said.
"It would drive me nuts, but Barb knew all of that," he said.
Although Mrs. Bryson suffered a heart attack eight years, she didn't slow down. She and another sister had just finished painting and re-decorating the inside of the Bryson house.
"She was quite a spitfire with a great personality," Stahl said of her sister. "We laughed a lot. I can't tell you how much she will be missed."
In addition to her husband, sister and mother, survivors include a son, Ron Bauer of Richmond, Va.; a stepson, Ryan Bryson, of Flagstaff, Ariz.; four brothers, George Funk of Colerain Township, Jerry Funk of Colerain Township, Chip Pritchard of Independence and Gene Tudor of Bridgetown; and three sisters, DiAnn Jones of Westwood, Kathy Tyree of Cleves and JoAnn Huff of Florence, Ind.
She was preceded in death by her father, George Funk, and a brother, John Funk.
Visitation will be 2-5 p.m. Sunday at the Dalbert, Woodruff & Isenogle Funeral Home, 2880 Boudinot Ave., Westwood. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Monday at St. Teresa of Avila Church, 1175 Overlook Ave., West Price Hill.
Memorials: UC Neuroscience Institute Stroke Team at University Hospital; contact Liz Keating at 584-8989, or UC Health/University Hospital, 234 Goodman St., Suite 1250, Cincinnati OH 45219.
Written by Mark Curnutte | firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com
Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer from Mar. 25 to Mar. 26, 2011