George William "Bill" Bryant, of Abilene, passed away Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at 9:20 p.m. at home surrounded by his loving family.
Bill was born September 26, 1937 in Newnan, Ga. He grew up in the backwoods of Georgia with very modest means. He entered the U.S. Air Force at a real young age on August 13, 1953 and was one of the first airmen stationed at Dyess. He thrived in his position and showed great leadership and compassion during his time in the military. He saw combat in Vietnam, assisting with evacuations during the TET offensive. He was stationed in Germany, California, Florida, Philippines, Korea, Arkansas and Abilene, where he served until 1980 when he retired as a Chief Master Sergeant. He was awarded two bronze stars for his service. He received many cards of thanks from aid he rendered to widows and children in Korea. He also worked on the development of the X15 rocket.
He married Shirley Ann in 1956 and they shared an incredible life together. They lived in the country south of Abilene for the last 35 years. He took great pride in being a strong and capable man, putting himself through school. He was the first in his family to receive a college diploma. He made everyone's life that he touched better and had a smile that lit up the room. Described as honorable, he had many talents, including the ability to fix almost anything. He built two beautiful homes from the ground up, owned his own car lot and still found time to spend with his family and friends. He served as a deacon in the Lutheran church in his younger years and had a special interest in helping those in need. He was preceded in death by three brothers and two sisters.
Bill is survived by his wife; a son, George Bryant Jr.; three daughters, Janene, Maria and Shannon Kelly; a granddaughter, Stephanie, whom he and Shirley raised from the age of 3; other grandchildren, Nicholas, Lauren and Ashley; and proud great-grandfather to Ella Grace and Madison Faith.
Graveside services are 1 p.m. Friday at Drummond Cemetery, directed by Starbuck Funeral Home of Merkel.
Friday, November 9th, 2018 1:00pm, Drummond Cemetery