Josephine Scruggs Bryan
Josephine Scruggs Bryan, 93, died Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at her home in Jackson, Mississippi. Visitation will be at Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home in Downtown Jackson, Mississippi from 4 pm until 6 pm on Thursday, November 7, 2013. Funeral services will be held on Friday, November 8, with visitation from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm and services beginning at 1:30 pm in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Jackson. A burial service, following the ceremony, will take place at Wright & Ferguson in Ridgeland, Mississippi.
Josephine Scruggs Bryan was born in Sweetwater, Tennessee on November 3, 1920. She attended Sweetwater High School in 1939 and received a certificate in music from Tennessee Wesleyan College the same year. In 1943, Josephine graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Georgia having earned a B.A. in Music Education.
An accomplished musician, Josephine began studying piano at age seven and became the pianist for the First Baptist Church in Sweetwater, Tennessee at only twelve years old. That same year, Josephine decided to study the organ; and, at the age of fifteen, she gave her first organ concert. Nearly eighty-five years later, Josephine was still entertaining family and friends with her musical talents when she gave a formal organ concert for a group of 500 adoring fans on her 90th birthday. Indeed, her love of music lasted a lifetime. Josephine served for more than 18 years as the accompanist for the Chorus of the National Music Federation. She also had the privilege of playing some of the greatest organs in the world including the Bamboo Organ in Manila, Rock Church in Helsinki, St. Mary's in Kilarney, St. Mary's in Bergen, Norway, Salzburg Cathedral in Austria, and St. Catherine's in Bethlehem.
Josephine married Rev. Clyde Cullom Bryan in 1943, starting their life together in Bolivar, Tennessee. In 1950, the happy couple moved to Hattiesburg, Mississippi where Dr. Bryan served as pastor of First Baptist Church of Hattiesburg, Mississippi for over sixteen years. Josephine and her family later founded Bryan Tours of Jackson, Mississippi in 1964, and Josephine served as Vice President of the company for over 40 years. She had the privilege of travelling to 126 different countries during her lifetime. In addition to her work in travel, Josephine was an active member of the MacDowell Music Club and Heritage Luncheon Club. She was also a longtime member of First Baptist Church of Jackson, where she served in the Reflections Choir. She was also an avid supporter of the Mississippi Baptist Children's Village and sponsored mission trips and charities throughout the world.
Josephine was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Clyde C. Bryan, and her son, William C. Bryan.
She is survived by her daughter Rebecca Bryan Allen, and her husband, Charles, of Carrollton, Georgia; her four grandchildren, Chris Allen and his wife, Julie, of Rome, Georgia; Marcy Croft Vick and her husband, Aaron, of Madison, Mississippi; Tracy Rhinewalt and her husband, Michael, of Madison, Mississippi; William Chase Bryan and his wife, Jordan, of Madison, Mississippi; and, her six great-grandchildren, Amelia Allen and Eliana Allen of Rome, Georgia; Caroline Croft, Emerson Rhinewalt, Noah Vick, and Ava Croft, all of Madison, Mississippi.
Josephine leaves behind a wonderful legacy - as a musician, a businesswoman, a world-traveler, a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother. She was a woman of great dignity, honor, and grace. An ageless wonder, she will be loved and missed by her many friends, employees, colleagues, and - most of all - her family.
Published in the Hattiesburg American from Nov. 7 to Nov. 8, 2013