Jim was born in Lusk, Wyo., on Oct. 5, 1927, to John Wilbur and Joyce Arlene Bryant. Jim never attended high school, but attended machinist school in Denver, while working for Pioneer Auto Wrecking rebuilding engines.
He moved to Powell to work for an auto repair shop until he was drafted into the Army in 1950. He served for two years as a Browning Automatic Weapon (BAR) instructor and a heavy equipment mechanic in Port Whittier, Alaska.
He was discharged from Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and, while stationed there, he met his future wife, Neva Pauli, while she was attending Missouri State University. Jim and Neva were married in Thayer, Mo., on June 7, 1953.
Jim moved to Greybull in 1952 and worked for McLane Motors and Nash Davis Caterpillar before starting the first of several businesses throughout his life. He founded Truck and Tractor Service, Bryant Motors, Bryant’s Inc. (camper and pallet manufacturing), Bryant Lumber, and Olde Timey Furniture.
In 1987 he moved to Sheridan and began his “other side of the mountain” adventures that included the furniture store and participation in the Moose Lodge.
Jim was always recognizable in a crowd by his wool “Gamblers” hat. He loved to play cards (cribbage, solitaire, pinochle, poker, blackjack, pitch, hearts, spades, rummy, and Tripoli). He loved to travel, and never passed up the chance to visit new places. A good part of his younger years were spent on the mountains hunting, fishing, and camping. Some of his memorable quotes: “It ain’t luck, it’s just that good clean living”; “There is no bad nap”; and “You can never put too much butter on anything.”
He was preceded in death by his pre-mature daughter (Betty Marie Bryant), wife (Neva Marie Bryant), parents (Wilbur and Joyce Bryant), brother (Wes Bryant), sisters (Colein Kregear and Berty Austin) and daughter-in-law (Dana Bryant).
He is survived by his children Joyce Lofgren (Doug) and Rick Bryant, both of Sheridan, and Ken Bryant (Carolyn) of Houston; his nine grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and 3 great-great-grandchildren.
At Jim’s request there will be services held in Greybull at a later date in the summer. Interment will follow at the Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery in Greybull. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the cause of your choice.
The family would like to thank the Sheridan VA Medical Center and staff at the Mountain View Living Center for their professional and compassionate care during his last days.