Joe Houston Bryant

Joe Houston Bryant

Joe Houston Bryant, age 62 of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, passed away on June 12, 2013. Joe was born in Wyandotte, Michigan, on September 22, 1950.

He was the son of James Houston and Opal Jones Bryant.

After attending Upperman High School in Baxter TN, Joe became a Laotian linguist in the US Air Force. While managing Bell Bros. Shoe Store, he married Sherry Burcham in 1975. He received his Bachelor's Degree from MTSU and began his teaching career as an ESL teacher of Laotian students at Riverdale and Oakland High Schools in Murfreesboro.

For the remaining 29 years of his teaching career, he taught history at Riverdale. Joe sponsored the Young Writers and Artists Society (YAWS), student council, junior class, and the Key Club. Joe loved writing and was working on his life story. He was often seen playing disc golf with a group of old hippies known only to themselves as The Electric Freetoe.

An avid music lover, he continually added to his 4700 song collection on his IPOD. He loved to teach his granddaughter Abigail about the important things in life such as how to play with silly putty, blow bubbles, and be goofy. Joe loved animals and was most at home walking in the woods. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Joe is survived by his wife, Sherry; son Jeremy and his wife Jennifer; daughter Holly; granddaughter Abigail; brother William (Bill) Bryant and wife Pat; sisters Doris Wesser, Jimmie Rosati, Marie Agee and husband Carl; Betty Rendon and husband Saul; loving nieces, nephews, and several "adopted" children. He is preceded in death by his parents James Houston and Opal Jones Bryant and by his brother Robert (Bob) Bryant.

A celebration of Joe's life will be held Wednesday, June 19, in the Jaycees' building at Cannonsburgh Village, 312 South Front St., Murfreesboro. The family will gather at 2 p.m. to greet relatives and friends, and then have a time of sharing at 3:30 p.m., led by Sherry's uncle, Rev. James Burcham, pastor of First Baptist Church, Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Memorial donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project,

The family would like to thank the many students who were such a vital part of Joe's life. Through you, Joe found his life's passion. And, Joe, "Because we knew you, we have been changed for good."

Published in The Daily News Journal on June 18, 2013