DURANT, Okla. - Jimmie Lee Bryant, 77, of Durant died Sunday, April 28, 2013 at his residence following a courageous 10-month battle with lung cancer. A Military Funeral Honors Ceremony will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. at a later date.|
Mr. Bryant was born Dec. 16, 1935 in Henryetta, Okla. to J.A. and Lula Lorene Mayes Bryant. He joined the U.S. Air Force at the young age of 16 and retired 21 years later in 1973. While in the Air Force, he was a Senior Flight Engineer in addition to being qualified on a combat crew.
He received The Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievements while participating in aerial flight as Rescue Crew Flight Engineer aboard an HC-130P aircraft over hostile territory while stationed in Vietnam. Sergeant Bryant played a vital role in the successful recovery of a downed F-105 pilot from a very heavily defended area.
During his tour from 1968 – 1969 he was awarded The United States Air Force Air Medal with the first through the sixth oak leaf clusters for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. He was also awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for meritorious service.
He went on to retire from a second career with the U.S. Postal Service. The golf course then became his new office. To his delight, he achieved two hole-in-ones while 'working.'
He is survived by his wife, Linda Bryant of Durant; four children from his first marriage are sons, Dennis L. Bryant of Biloxi, Miss., Rodney D. Bryant and wife Josephine of Green Valley, Ariz., Jimmie D. Bryant of Green Valley; daughter, Kathy L. Bryant and husband Dr. Mark Peterson of Salem, Ore.; step-daughter, Melanie L. Voit and husband Michael of Navarre, Fla.; sister, Etta Corene Ray and husband Bobby of Neosho, Mo. Jimmie was blessed with 11 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Dr. Mike Lee, Dr. Imran Siddiqi, Sunshine Hospice and staff for the compassionate care Jimmie received during his final days.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Greater Texoma Health Clinic, 900 N. Armstrong Ave., Denison, Texas 75020. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.brownsfuneralservice.com.
Services are under the direction of Brown's Funeral Service in Durant, Okla.
Published in The Herald Democrat on May 1, 2013