William “Bill” Granville Bryan, 99, loving husband, devoted father, and gentle hero, passed away peacefully on August 21, 2020 in Greenwood, IN, in the tender and prayerful embrace of his wife and daughters.
Bill was born on January 25, 1921 in Lincoln, NE, to Charles and Bessie Bryan. He enjoyed life on the family farm and was educated in a one room schoolhouse for the first eight years of his education.
After graduating from York High School, he attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. His mother sold her chickens so Bill could pay for his first semester. Bill had a hard work ethic and was able to live with his aunt and work part time to fund his college education. One job that was especially memorable was in the college laboratory feeding the lab rats.
Bill’s college years were interrupted by World War II. He served in the Army as a tank mechanics instructor at Fort Sill and then as a tank gunner in the Philippines and Okinawa.
After the war, in January 1947, Bill graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in Dairy Science. He was hired by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to grade butter, which was the beginning of a long career with the department.
While working in Alabama, he met Frances Hall at a dance in Atlanta, GA. They married in
1950 and raised three children, Michael, Susan, and William. Bill and Frances lived briefly in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, before settling in Falls Church, VA.
In August 1978, Bill retired as Assistant to Director of AMS (Agricultural Marketing Service) after a 31 year career with the USDA.
His strength and devotion were demonstrated by his loving care of Frances during the last years of her life. Frances preceded him in death on January 1, 2007.
Bill was blessed to find love again after being partnered with a widow during a dance class. In 2014, he was married to Wanda Lee Harris in Sun City Center, FL. They shared adventures cruising and touring Europe and Alaska. Many fond memories were created dancing together and playing their prized electronic organ. In 2018, they moved to Indiana to be closer to family.
He will be most remembered for his great humility, quiet strength, and boundless love.
Bill is preceded in death by his son, William “Bill” C. Bryan; and survived by his wife, Wanda Harris Bryan; children, Michael Garrett (Kathy), Susan Fimiani (Bob); step-children, Elizabeth Perry, Myron Harris (Amy), Brian Harris, and Doris McFarland (Mike); daughter-in-law, Joan Bryan; grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.
A private graveside service will be held in Falls Church, VA.