Emma Gene Cummings Bryon
Emma Gene Cummings Bryon, 89, widow of the Rev. Edward R. Bryon Jr., died Feb.14, 2014 in Pontotoc, Miss.
Born in Ecru on December 26, 1924, Mrs. Bryon was one of six children of the late Luther and Mamie Cummings. A 1944 graduate of Pontotoc High School, she was Miss Pontotoc High School that year and had been valedictorian of her 1940 eighth-grade class at Harmony.
It was at PHS that she met Ed Bryon, whom she married June 16, 1944, a marriage of 64-years. After he was discharged from the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1946, they moved to Fort Knox, Ky., where he worked in Civil Service for four years before entering the ministry. She supported his ministry by being a leader and participant in Sunday School, Church Training and Woman's Missionary Union activities and training opportunities in the churches the Rev. Bryon pastored. These churches included Algoma and Bellevue (Toccopola) Baptist in Mississippi; Puryear and Sharon in Tennessee; Bayou La Batre in Alabama; and Trinity in New Orleans.
While in Sharon, Mrs. Bryon attended Bruce Business Institute. A letter of recommendation from the director of the institute described her well: "Mrs. Bryon possessed an unusual amount of drive and was always punctual and regular in attendance. On many occasions, she attended both day and night sessions of school and worked several times after normal closing hours. She was extremely industrious and very eager to learn and improve her personal qualities. Possessing a very fine and pleasing personality, she is cordial, honest, courteous, and was always receptive to instruction. Mrs. Bryon is very neat in her work and well-groomed in her personal appearance. She is quiet-natured and very conscientious in her work. She enjoys people and works extremely well with others. Above all, Mrs. Bryon is a Christian young woman. I am sure she would make a pleasant and efficient employee."
Mrs. Bryon worked as a secretary in the office of Dr. H. Leo Edelman, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, while her husband was a student in the early 1960's.
A resident of Clinton, Miss. for 46 years before moving to assisted living in Tupelo in 2011, Mrs. Bryon was a long-time member of Morrison Heights Baptist Church where she loved her teachers and friends in the Fidelias Sunday School Class and singing with the Senior Sunshiners.
She was employed by Blackwell Chevrolet and Mississippi College prior to joining the staff of Mississippi Power and Light (now Entergy), where she retired after a 23-year career. While at MP&L she earned several certificates of achievement.
While an assisted-living resident of Trace Point in Clinton and AvonLea in Tupelo, Mrs. Bryon was recognized as "Resident of the Month," but she particularly enjoyed winning the Halloween costume contest at Trace Point.
She spent her last months as a resident of Sunshine Health Care in Pontotoc, which is located on the site of the former "county home," which had been managed by her grandparents Bud and Carrie Goggans when Mrs. Bryon was a child. She related stories about the times she spent the night with her grandparents at the county home and the way her grandfather teased her about working for him. He gave her a dime for her efforts.
In addition to her parents, Mrs. Bryon was preceded in death by her sisters Lucille Cummings and Nell Cummings Johnston and by her brothers Grover D. Cummings and Charles L. Cummings.
She is survived by her daughter Jennifer Bryon Owen and husband John of Decatur, Ga.; daughter Amelia Bryon Damroth and husband Peter of Cary, N.C.; grandson Jordan P. Owen of Atlanta; sister Mary Ellen Sewell and husband John of Pontotoc; sister-in-law Dottie Bryon Adkison of Plano, Texas, and brother-in-law Chaplain Major (ret.) Tom Bryon and wife Martha of Copperas Cove, Texas. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephew and great-nieces and nephews, most of whom know her only as "Aunt Dude," a life-long nickname supposedly bestowed by her father when he looked at her one day and commented, "Isn't she a little dude?"
Visitation for Mrs. Bryon will be Friday, Feb. 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Browning Funeral Home in Pontotoc. Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. at Oak Hill Baptist Church in Pontotoc, the church she joined by profession of faith in 1938 and where her husband was ordained to the ministry on Dec. 25, 1949. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The Rev. Dr. Charles Scrivener, associate pastor of Morrison Heights Baptist Church, Clinton, will officiate as his final gift in a devoted ministry that continued through Mrs. Bryon's final days.
Memorials may be sent to
, 262 Danny Thomas Blvd., Memphis, TN 38105 or to Morrison Heights Baptist Church, C/O Senior Adult Ministry, 3000 Hampstead Blvd., Clinton, MS 39056.
Condolences may be offered at www.browningpontotoc.com
Published in Clarion Ledger on Feb. 18, 2014
Arrangements under the direction of:
Browning Funeral Home
141 West Oxford Street | Pontotoc, MS 38863 | (662) 489-4141