Richard Earle Bryant, 88, died in the early morning hours of Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020, at home with his wife, Noreen, and eldest son, Richard, at his side. Born on December 26, 1931, in Bangor, Maine, to the late Lawrence and Geraldine Bryant, Richard had been a resident of Clinton, IN, since 1987. He will be fondly remembered by family and friends for his polished Southern manners, his dry Yankee humor, and his always-available cups of good black coffee.
Richard was proud to have been a member of the Army Air Corps, serving as a paratrooper during the time of the Korean War, from 1950 to 1953. He often said he joined because he “wanted to jump out of airplanes.” He also played the French horn in the Army band.
Educated at North Carolina State University as an Industrial Engineer, Richard earned his MBA at the University of North Carolina. Although he had worked in other places before coming to Clinton, he always said his time here at Inland Container in Newport, IN, working as a Professional Industrial Engineer, was his best. He spoke highly of his coworkers there and continued to praise their kindness and excellent work ethic long after his retirement in 2004.
He became a much-loved member of an extended local, Italian-American family in 1989, and he and Noreen traveled often throughout their retirements. Among his most memorable trips were those they made to Italy, especially those made with Noreen’s parents, Jack and Madelyn Bazzani.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, his daughter Ann Watlington Bryant, his sister Beverly Burgess and her son Dirk, and great-nephews James and Clay. He is survived by a large and loving extended family, including his sons, Kent and Richard, his grandchildren Elizabeth and Richard; his sister Pat (Leroy) Bracken, her children Carlton (Susie) Moody and Kim (Jeff) Jenkinson; his sister Beverly Burgess’ husband, Wayne, and their children, Cynthia (Philip) Whitaker and Gregory (Lisa) Burgess; as well as many great-nieces and nephews.
His large local family includes Cathy and Jerry Costello, their children Neil and Bethany (Justin) Costello-Stebelton, and grandchildren Emerson and Atticus; Jim and Karen Bekkering, their children Casey and Steve (Jessica) and grandchildren Samuel and Benjamin; Tom Bekkering and his son Brandon; and Steve and Becky Cvengros and their children Mia and Ben. Richard will also be missed by Noreen’s nieces and nephews, Gina Shephard and Ronnie Stevenson, Tony (Lori) Bazzani, Anita (Aaron) Crane, and Jay (Janice) Bazzani.
A graveside memorial service will be held at 10 am, on Saturday, April 25, at Walnut Grove Cemetery in Clinton, IN, led by Father Varghese Maliakkal of Sacred Heart Church. Because of current social-distancing protocols, family members present at the grave must be limited to five people. All others wishing to attend are invited to support the family by staying in their cars, parking along the drive nearest the gravesite.
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