|Birth: ||Apr. 4, 1926|
|Death: ||Jan. 2, 2006|
Mary's birth certificate says she was born in Sano, Kentucky, which is in Russell County, but she was actually born within Adair County just 2½ miles west of Sano. Mom always told people she was from Columbia which is the county seat.
Her father, Joe Bryant, had lost his first wife in 1921. He remarried on May 8, 1925 to Viola Mae Bryant who was known as Mae. Joe had 4 girls and 4 boys from his prior marriage. With his new wife pregnant, the three youngest children, Owen, Arthur and Lucian, wanted to help pick out the name for the baby. They were convinced their step-mother was going to have a boy and they wanted the baby to be named Walker. Their Uncle Walker had died the previous August and I now believe it was his name my mother's brothers wanted to give her.
Not to disappoint the boys, when the child was born a girl, Joe and Mae Bryant gave her the name Mary Walker. And that is what everyone called her ... well at least everyone from near Sano Route, Kentucky.
Mom enjoyed working in the farm fields and talking with her father. She often told me stories of talking with him. He was an avid reader of the newspaper from Louisville and he had strong opinions about current events. And there was plenty going on at this time. The Great Depression started when Mom was just a young child and continued throughout her growing-up years. And, of course, there was the madman in Europe who was setting the events in motion to bring about a 2nd world war.
While Mom loved working in the fields with her father, she also loved school. Her father was too ill for her to go the distance needed to attend high school, so Mom repeated the 8th grade twice just so she could go to school. She never got to go any further, something which she regretted her whole life.
The other thing she loved doing was shooting the rifle. Mom was an accurate shot, but her father wouldn't let her just waste bullets. So to be able to shoot, she'd go killing snakes. She liked to brag that one summer, she got 17 snakes.
In the spring of 1945, she moved to Louisville with 2 friends, Carrie Rooks and Edna Alley. They worked in a munitions factory to help support the war effort.
While she was doing that, the man she was going to marry, Huston Sullivan, was serving our country. They met when he got home and they eloped on October 6, 1945.
Over the next nine years, they lived in various places. During that time, my brother and sister were born. One of my favorite stories was about two neighbors for whom Mom had to act as interpreter. One was from Michigan and the other West Virginia. Neither could understand what the other was saying without Mom's help.
Sometime, in the mid-fifties, my parents were living in New Castle, Indiana, when they got a call from my Uncle Roy. He convinced them to move to Hendricks County, Indiana. They moved to what is now Plainfield but at that time had a Bridgeport address. That's when I came along.
Mom started working at Western Electric which was all the way across town. It wasn't too bad in the summer time, but she had to leave awfully early in the winter to go that far. She worked there until retirement in early 1982.
Mom and Dad stayed in Plainfield until May 1959 and then moved up the road to Avon, Indiana. They stayed there until December 1973. From there they moved to a farm further west in Hendricks County.
The farm was a lot of hard work, but it was what my dad really wanted. Mom was very active with her church as well. She helped the children plan plays for Sunday School convention and they won many awards. She also visited elderly women who had to move to nursing homes. She also made sure flowers were put on the graves of those friends who passed away and did not have loved ones close by.
Mom and Dad had several dogs over their lives. The ones I remember best are those who lived with us on the farm. When they bought the farm, they already had Smokey - a black mutt who was fearful of men but learned to love Dad. They added a German Shepherd named King who lived a full life passing in his sleep at age 14. Bandit, who was the spitting image of Smokey, was given to them by a farmer who was sure Smokey was Bandit's father. The last one came from Arizona to live with Mom and Dad. Her name was Mischief. Mom loved that dog with all her heart.
Mom was the most generous person I have ever known. She was loved by everyone who knew her. During the latter years of her life, I spent a lot of time with her as it was getting difficult for her to be totally independent. When we'd go to church, there would be people who would tell her they just needed a "Mary hug." And Mom would certainly hug them as she just loved giving and receiving hugs. I could really use a "Mary hug" right now.
Her obituary from the January 4, 2006 Indianapolis Star:
Mary Walker Bryant Sullivan, 79, Avon, died January 2, 2006. She was an assembler 27 years at Western Electric. Mrs. Sullivan was a member of Clermont Church of the Nazarene and Telephone Pioneers of America. Memorial contributions may be made to Clermont Church of the Nazarene. Services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, January 6, 2006 in Conkle Funeral Home Avon Chapel, with calling there from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, January 5, 2006 and one hour prior to service. Burial will be in Center Valley Cemetery. She was the widow of Huston Sullivan; he passed away in 1994. Survivors include daughters, Janice Walker and Julie Sullivan; son, Allen Sullivan; sister, Pauline DeLoach; grandchildren, Joy Sullivan, Jill Johnson, Amy Pridemore, Nick Sullivan, Nate Walker, Natalie Walker and Russ Walker; and great-grandchild, Ava Sullivan.
Since Mary passed away, two great-grandchildren have been added to the family --- Isabelle Renae Pridemore and Brady Alexander Sullivan. I know she would have loved to hold them as she was so looking forward to their arrival the summer of 2006.
December 2008 - Mary's 2nd grandchild, Jill, just announced she and her husband Nathan are expecting a baby this coming July. Hopefully the baby will be a girl and if so will have Mom's first name. And if's it a boy, that's okay, too. Mom would be happy knowing that the baby is on the way.
March 2009 - The baby is a girl. She'll arrive this summer and will be named Mary Grace Johnson.
Gracie was born very late (11:43 pm) on July 18, 2009. She is a beautiful baby girl.
October 2011 - Her middle child finally became a grandmother with the birth of twins, Lucas and Chloe.
Joe Cephus Bryant (1877 - 1960)
Viola Mae Bryant Bryant (1892 - 1976)
Huston Sullivan (1925 - 1994)*
Emmer Bryant Bottom (1899 - 1929)**
Marvin Bryant (1902 - 1924)**
Nora Bryant (1903 - 1971)**
Effie Bryant Wilson (1905 - 1967)**
Nona Bryant Stackhouse (1906 - 1988)**
Owen Bryant (1908 - 1984)**
Arthur Bryant (1910 - 2002)**
Lucian Bryant (1912 - 1950)**
Mary Walker Bryant Sullivan (1926 - 2006)
Hazel Bryant (1927 - 1928)*
Helen Bryant (1927 - 1928)*
Pauline Bryant DeLoach (1928 - 2013)*
Married Oct. 6, 1945
Center Valley Cemetery
GPS (lat/lon): 39.62947, -86.48214
Created by: J.Sullivan
Record added: Feb 23, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13423053