Donna Sue Bryant
Donna Sue Eskew Bryant, age 80, of Bridgeport, WV passed from her earthly life into the presence of her Savior Jesus Christ on July 31, 2021. She had suffered several years with progressive dementia. Sue was born on March 11, 1941 in Clarksburg, WV, the older daughter of Hugh Eskew and Elizabeth “Libby” Nell Randolph Eskew.
Her living family include: Husband: Dr James L Bryant, Jr. Children: Cindy Weidman of Morgantown, WV; Jeff “JB” Bryant of Massillon, OH; Dave Bryant (and Shelley) of Bridgeport, WV;; and Kathy Cox (and Rick) of Bridgeport, WV. Grandchildren: Shawn Freels (and Erin); Nathan Bryant (and Jen); Taylor Weidman (and Molly); Andrew Weidman; Paul Cox, Libby White (and Crestyn); Luke Cox (and Lucy); and Vaughn Bryant. Great Grandson: Noah Bryant. Sue was preceded in death by her parents, Hugh and Elizabeth Eskew, and her sister, Janet Olin.
Sue’s early education was mostly in Bridgeport, WV schools. After graduation from Bridgeport High School in 1959 she entered WVU and earned a BS in 1963 in secondary math education with a minor in music. It was at choir practice in 1959 at the First Baptist Church of Morgantown that she met the love of her life and future husband, Jim Bryant. A union made and blessed by God, Sue and Jim began dating, became engaged Christmas, 1960, and on June 7, 1961 they were married at the Simpson Creek Baptist Church in Bridgeport, WV.
Sue lived her life by using her gifts and talents to help others selflessly, including her family, church, and community.
She was a devoted mother to her children, helping, encouraging and leading the in their various activities. Partly by her influence they developed an appreciation and ability in music and drama. Sue was a Girl Scout leader when her daughters were at that age. She was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and mother advisor for Rainbow Girls.
Sue was very active in her church, Simpson Creek Baptist Church. Her service included teaching the Powell Fellowship Sunday School class for many years. She sang in the choir and was often a soloist. She directed Gospel Gang, a musical drama performing group for elementary age children. That group lasted nearly two generations. Some children whose families claimed to have no musical ability became successful singers, actors, and sometimes soloists. She also directed MusiCamp for several years. This was like a musical Vacation Bible School in which elementary aged children learned about music, various instruments, and performed in musical drama. These activities provided community outreach because many children from outside her church participated. She also directed children’s choirs. She chaired the Department of Christian Education for many years. Sue organized and led self help and mutual support groups through the church such as Tough Love and First Place.
Sue extended her musical and acting talents to the community. She sang in community choruses, including the Bridgeport Messiah Choir, in which she was often a soprano soloist. She performed in several community theater productions. In 1974 she was Dolly in “Hello Dolly”. These experiences helped prepare her to lead children in church. She performed similarly in other communities including in the USAF before coming back to Bridgeport.
Sue was a Girl Scout leader beyond the local community. She rose to become a part of the WV Girl Scout organization and she became a delegate to the national organization.
Sue was an entrepreneur. She was a part time travel agent. She helped organize cruises and trips for her church and community. She and her husband, Jim, enjoyed travel and they went to most of western Europe, Russia, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and other places. She traveled to Israel four times with other members of her church. She had a restaurant “Healthy Appetites for Healthy Living”.
Part of her legacy is the leading and teaching of generations of children in music, drama and scouting.
Sue was President of both the Harrison County and West Virginia State Medical Association Alliance.
Friends will be received at the Ford Funeral Home, 215 East Main Street, Bridgeport, WV on Wednesday August 4 from 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM and at Simpson Creek Baptist Church on Thursday August 5, 2021 from 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM. The funeral service will follow at 11:00 AM in the church with Reverend Dr. C. Michael Hopkins presiding. The interment will follow in the Bridgeport Cemetery. Condolences may be extended to the family at www.fordfuneralhomes.com. The Bryant family has entrusted the care and arrangements to the Ford Funeral Home, 215 East Main Street, Bridgeport, WV.