Dr. Samuel Douglas Bryan of New Bern departed this life on February 13, 2014 at the age of 95. He left as quietly and as peacefully as he had lived.
Dr. Bryan was born in New Bern on November 2, 1918 to the late Henry F. and Pearlie C. Bryan, the third of four children and the last surviving sibling. After completing his early education at West Street Elementary and High School, he entered what is now North Carolina Central University, graduating with a B.S. Degree in mathematics. In 1942 he was inducted into the United States Army and served in World War II with a medical battalion in Northern France. His decorations and citations included the Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Theater Campaign Medal, EA MET Theater Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars. After being discharged from the Army, his desire to enter the medical profession led him to enroll in additional coursework in the sciences at Howard University in Washington, DC and Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and in 1948 he entered Meharry Medical College in Nashville, graduating with the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. His internship was completed at Kansas City General Hospital in Missouri.
On October 22, 1949 he was married to Dorothy M. Hawkins. Through this union, there was one daughter, Gwendolyn M. Bryan.
Dr. Bryan practiced dentistry locally for nearly 15 years before failing vision due to glaucoma forced him to change course. He returned to the classrooms, at East Carolina University, to prepare for a second career. After receiving a Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, he was employed by the North Carolina State Department of Human Resources, Services for the Blind, as a rehabilitation counselor and consultant. In this capacity he served 16 counties, including Craven. He retired in 1981.
Dr. Bryan was a lifelong member of St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church, where he was confirmed in May, 1931 at the age of 13. He remained a steadfast and hardworking communicant. In his youth, he was active as an acolyte, and as a member of the Sunday school, vacation Bible school, the church's Boy Scout troop and its baseball team. As an adult he served faithfully as a Sunday School Superintendent, a vestryman, a lay reader, a choir member and stewardship chairman. In 1993 he was honored by his congregation for years of service, dedication and inspiration.
His other affiliations and interests included Old North State Dental Society, North Carolina Rehabilitation Association, National Rehabilitation Counseling Association, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society in Education, NAACP and the West Street/J.T. Barber Alumni Association, which he helped to found. His love of music motivated his study of violin and piano. He was an avid reader with a thirst for knowledge, and he enjoyed travel, especially when there was an opportunity to learn about and interact with other cultures. He developed long lasting friendships with several families while in wartime Europe, and during the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II in 1995, he returned to Northern France with his family to visit his friends.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 64 years, Dorothy, his daughter, Gwendolyn, a granddaughter, Adia Coleman; nephews, Robert Bryan (Andrea), Donald Adams (Debra), Robert Lewis (Linda), and Terrence Hall (Donna); nieces, Lovetta Bryan, Eileen Bryan, Robin Harris, Marian Bryan, Eleanor Cordova (Jerry), Rosalind Robinson, and Audrey Hill (Tony); first cousin, Leon Allen Bryan, Jr. (Paula); sister-in-law Minnie Scott; and a host of great nieces and nephews.
The family is most grateful for Dr. Bryan's dedicated caregivers, Vera Harvey and Aaron Credle, the staff at CarolinaEast Medical Center, Uni-Health Neuse Campus and Liberty Home Care and Hospice Service, as well as others who provided relief and solace to family members throughout his period of declining health.
Services for Dr. Bryan will be held at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, February 19 at St. Cyprian's Church, with viewing at Oscar's Mortuary Tuesday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Entombment will be at Greenleaf Memorial Park.
Visitors are being received at the home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church, 604 Johnson Street, New Bern. Online condolences are received at oscarsmortuary.com.
Arrangements by Oscar's Mortuary, Inc.
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