Mary Florence (Clevenger) Bryant, 89, a native of Cocke
County and a resident of White Pine since 1995, died November 19, 2012, under
hospice care at her son's home in Nashville. She had suffered a debilitating
stroke in January.
She was born August 18, 1923, in Newport, the daughter of
Dan and Essie (Kyker) Clevenger.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, husband James,
infant son Glen Daniel, sister Georgie Ball, and brothers Stanley and Ernest.
She is survived by her son Charles Eugene (Gene) Bryant,
Nashville, and family friend David Hamblin, Nashville; brother William Royce
Clevenger, Morristown; sister Ina Ruth Ball, Russellville; and special niece
Pat Coffey-Trotter, Russellville.
Mary and James Bryant were longtime residents of the
English Creek community. They operated James Bryant Grocery on the old Cosby
Road during the 1970s and 1980s. After James died in 1994, Mary moved to White
Pine. In recent years she had divided her residency between White Pine and
Nashville, where Gene provided care throughout her declining health.
Family and friends will gather in the Manes Funeral Home
at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, November 24. A memorial service will begin at 7:30 p.m.
with the Rev. Dr. Dan Rosemergy, minister of the Greater Nashville Unitarian
Universalist Congregation, officiating. Visitations may continue briefly after
Gene will eulogize his mother, focusing on her life since
his father's death, including the last six years she spent with him in
Nashville. He will also highlight his parents' Clevenger-Bryant and Cocke
Mary is the third generation great-granddaughter of
Thomas and Psyche 'Sitche' Clevenger, who migrated from Shenandoah County,
Virginia in 1795 as the first Clevengers to settle in present-day Cocke County
(on land now owned by ConAgra on Edwina Road, where two-centuries-old family
headstones still exist).
James was the second generation great-grandson of Tarlton
Bryant, who came from South Carolina around 1805 and settled along English
Creek in the vicinity of present-day Bogard and Friendship Roads.
Mary is also the second generation great-granddaughter of
18th-century German immigrant Kuonrat Keicher (Kyker), whose grandson (Mary's
great-grandfather), Joseph Jackson Kyker, settled in the Bogard community around
The service will cite history of the Big Pigeon Primitive
Baptist Church, the first church in Cocke County and the spiritual home for
Clevengers and Bryants for almost two centuries. Mary joined the church in
1948, a little more than a decade before that congregation eventually
Mary will be buried beside her husband in the Bryant-Sisk
Cemetery in the English Creek community.
Family and friends may register online at
Manes Funeral Home in charge