Mary Ann Bryan
1929 - 2020
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Mary Ann Bryan
Mary Ann Bryan passed away peacefully on June 18, 2020, at the age of ninety. Born Mary Ann Green on November 16, 1929, in Dallas, Texas, Mary Ann was the first of four children born to William Campbell Green, Sr. and Harriet Elizabeth (Carter) Green.
As a young girl, Mary Ann developed white spots on her skin that eventually spread over her entire body. Mary Ann heard parents at local swimming pools caution their children to "stay away from that girl". Mary Ann would learn that she had Vitiligo, an incurable skin condition that would cause patches of her skin to lose their pigment, eventually spreading to her entire body. This condition surely contributed to Mary Ann's exceptional drive, determination, and independence – and her extraordinary life. Although for most of her life she weighed about 100 pounds soaking wet, Mary Ann was a force of nature seemingly achieving whatever she set her sights on through hard work and sheer willpower.
Mary Ann grew up in Dallas. She then moved with her family to Houston where she attended and graduated from Lamar High School, along the way receiving the award for Most Beautiful Girl at Lamar (despite the white skin patches). As a young woman Mary Ann was very bright (she attended the University of Texas at age 16 and graduated at 20 with a B.A. in Arts and Sciences), naturally artistic (she painted beautiful paintings on canvas), and very athletic. At UT, she was President of the Chi Omega sorority, a member of the Orange Jackets, and used her mean hook shot for intramural basketball.
After graduating from college, Mary Ann worked as a buyer at Foleys. In 1957 Mary Ann married Frank Wingfield Bryan (Sr.). After a year or two of marriage, while Frank worked as an architect in Houston, Mary Ann started her own interior design business. Mary Ann ran Mary Ann Bryan Interiors (later, Bryan Design Associates) for over 35 years, at one time having 15 or so designers on staff. Mary Ann was a kind, firm, full-speed-ahead-little-general as the boss of her business. She was not a fan of asking for help - she was known to rearrange an entire room of furniture by herself when necessary. Mary Ann was a workaholic in the best way possible (for that condition) in that she strived to do what she promised to do, to satisfy every customer to the fullest extent possible, and to be exceptionally fair and honest. From her two children's perspective, it was this work ethic and honesty ethic that were possibly the most valuable gifts Mary Ann imparted to her children.
Mary Ann's interior design work was published in magazines too numerous to count and brought her many other accolades. For example, she was the first president of the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), she is in the ASID College of Fellows, she was a delegate in the Delegation of Friendship Among Women, and she received a lifetime achievement award from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Texas. Additionally, Mary Ann greatly enjoyed her 55-year membership in The Blue Bird Circle.
Mary Ann was preceded in death by Frank W. Bryan, Sr., her husband of 30 years. She is survived by her sisters, Nancy Abraham and Carolyn Arledge, her brother, William Campbell Green, Jr., her daughter, Beth Bryan Maley, her son, Frank W. Bryan, Jr., her five grand-children, Austen Dean Potts, Cameron Dale Potts, Esther Fay Bryan, Isaiah Wingfield Bryan, and Franklin Finley Bryan, her great-grandchild, Forest Dean Potts, and her ten nieces and nephews, Jimmy Bryan, Jan Burr, Lacey Bowen, Natalie Green, Jim Arledge, Ruth Dalrymple, Ellen Ryan, Richard Abraham, Ann Abraham, and Susan Abraham.
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Published in Houston Chronicle on Jun. 28, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
July 3, 2020
I did not know of Mary Anns worldly involvements and lifetime accomplishments. She did not toot her own horn. What I did know was her dedication to Knowledge, self improvement and true caring. She was easy to get to know and seemed to accepted people without judgement or pretense. A perfectionist, she went the extra mile to do things right. She was a bright light here on earth and will be sorely missed. Thank you for the beautiful obituary.
Anne Wernick
June 30, 2020
I loved Mary Anns down to earth frankness. She was a design dynamo and a wonderful mentor in the field.
She has a lovely legacy.
Barbara J. Pajak ( BJ )
June 30, 2020
My sweet Aunt Mary Ann, we loved you so very much. I will always fondly remember our wonderful family times we shared.
Ann Abraham
June 28, 2020
A true pioneer in the design industry. So Lucky to have known her. You inspired many Mary Ann.
Ken Kehoe
June 28, 2020
She will always be in our hearts. We considered her as part of our extended family. Created beautiful environment for us. We loved her so. Punkin and Walter Hecht
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