Richard H. Bryant

Published 8:53 am Tuesday, September 1, 2015

EDENTON – Richard Heath Bryant, 86, of 1010 Sound Shore Drive, Edenton, and formerly of Hampton Court in Rocky Mount, passed away into eternal rest on Sunday, August 30, 2015.

Mr. Bryant was born in Nash County on August 23, 1929, and was the son of the late Willie Pitt and Bettie Wyche Raney Bryant. His brother, William “Cookie” Bryant, and sister-in-law, Sylvia Joyner Bryant, also preceded him in death.

A graduate of Rocky Mount High School and NC State College of A & E, now NC State University, he received a BS Degree in Animal Industry. A week after finishing his degree work in the summer of 1952, he left for Fort Monmouth, NJ and the US Army Signal Corps. After completing the basic officer course he was deployed to Korea and there served with the 226th Signal Co. Service, eventually becoming the Officer in Charge of the Korean Communication Zone Crypto Office.

Upon returning to the states, he married the love of his life, Julia Killette Timberlake on December 22, 1954, and went to work at NC State with Dr. Ed Legates, Head of Dairy Husbandry, as the DHIA Supervisor.

In 1957 he became employed with the Perquimans County Agricultural Extension Office as Assistant County Agent and headed the Boys 4-H Program. It was a rewarding time in his life as he worked with a very good group of young men, many still living in the county today, and either currently working or retired after lives of being successful farmers.

In 1963, Mr. Bryant was promoted to County Extension Chairman in Gates County, and again enjoyed wonderful relationships with the farmers of that area also. In 1970, Mr. Bryant returned to Perquimans County as Chairman of the County Extension Service. His office consisted of seven very good employees and he was always of the opinion that they made a better life for their clients and county residents. For the time given to 4-H efforts throughout the region, Richard and Julia have a room named for them at the Eastern 4-H Environmental Education Conference Center on Bulls Bay in Tyrrell County.

Community and church involvement through the years included the American Legion, the Hertford Jaycees, the Bethel, Parkville, Gatesville, and New Hope Ruritan Clubs, both the Gatesville and Winfall Volunteer Fire Depts., Meals on Wheels Volunteer in both Hertford and Rocky Mount for over 25 years, Hertford UMC where he served on the Board of Trustees, Gatesville UMC where he was Superintendent of Sunday School, served on the Board of Trustees and sang in the church choir, Englewood UMC where he served on the Board of Trustees, was president of the Senior Adult Group for nine years, and recorded Sunday services and delivered those tapes to the shut-in members for over 20 years, and Edenton United Methodist Church.  A Mason, he was active in both the Hertford and Gatesville Masonic Lodges until moving to Rocky Mount.

Mr. Bryant enjoyed being outdoors and working his English Setters as they hunted Bob White Quail. In later years as the Quail became scarce, he enjoyed watching his dogs work on pen raised birds. A member of The Old Hickory Gun Club, he enjoyed shooting clay targets, even if some escaped his shot. He especially enjoyed shooting with his son and grandson, as well as other club members.

Surviving are his wife of 60 years, Julia Timberlake Bryant; their children, Elizabeth Lawrence (Buddy), Mary Elliott (Chris), and Tim Bryant (Nadine); six grandchildren, Mary Copeland (Scott), Laura Stakes (William), Ryland Elliott (Sallie), Katherine Elliott, Anna Bryant, and Ashton Bryant; a great-grandchild, Shelby Grace Copeland; and his canine companion, Sam.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. in EdentonUnitedMethodistChurch by the Rev. W. Christopher Aydlett. A graveside service with military honors will follow that afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in Pine View Cemetery in Rocky Mount, and will be officiated by the Rev. John Dutton.

Friends may join the family Tuesday from 7 to 8 p.m. in Miller Funeral Home & Crematory, 735 Virginia Road, Edenton, and other times at Elizabeth and Buddy’s home, 1010 Sound Shore Drive, also in Edenton.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the NC State University Foundation, Inc., NC State University, University Development, Campus Box 7501, Raleigh, NC  27695-7501.  In the memo section of the check donors may note the “Bryant Scholarship Fund”.

Miller Funeral Home & Crematory, 735 Virginia Road, Edenton, is handling arrangements, and online condolences may be made by visiting