Floyd L. Bryant

Monday, June 14, 2004

Sept. 6, 1937-June 5, 2004

Floyd Lee Bryant was born Sept. 6, 1937, in Hendley to Gail and Clara Bryant. He was the eighth of nine children. Floyd grew up on the family farm and graduated from the University of Nebraska School of Agriculture in Curtis in 1955. Floyd studied telegraphy and worked for the Union Pacific Railroad for one year after graduation.

On Nov. 16, 1957, he married his high school sweetheart, Sharon Barnes. To this union three children were born, Kerry Dwight, Lonty Kraig and Danca Laurce.

Floyd and Sharon made their home on the family farm north of Indianola until 1963. It was at this point that Floyd and Sharon moved into the community that would become their home, Cherry County. Floyd spent his working years as a rancher and he worked for and learned the trade from the best cattlemen in the country. Floyd worked for Emmet and later Jerry Adamson until 1972. That was the year that the Bryant family moved to the Box T Ranch west of Brownlee and he began what would be a 23 year labor of love for George Shadbolt, his mentor and friend. Floyd worked as a foreman for the Shadbolt Cattle Company, yet to any outside observer it appeared that he was much more than a hired hand. He worked the land and cattle with a pride that usually only comes with ownership. His attention to detail and insistence that the job, any job, be done right was legendary in his community and amongst his peers. He passed this work ethic to his children and many of the people that worked for and with him.

In 1997, Floyd and Sharon moved to their current home northeast of Kilgore, where they began another phase of their lives together. Floyd and Sharon started their own craft company, "Bryant's Rustics," and this was also a labor of love for them. Floyd was an extremely talented craftsman and loved working with materials of the land he spent his life in, barn wood, willow, horeshoes. This occupation allowed Floyd to spend a great deal of time doing the thing he loved most, visiting with and meeting new people, sharing stories and jokes.

Floyd had a way of making a complete stranger his friend just by telling one of his favorite jokes. In his last few years, Floyd had also become the number one fan of many local sports teams. He loved kids and truly enjoyed watching them compete in school events. Floyd loved to fish and especially loved to fish with his sons and grandkids.

Floyd was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend.

He is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 47 years, Sharon of Kilgore; his son, Kerry, daughter-in-law, Tara; grandchildren, Stephanie, Samantha, Dustin and Drew of Kilgore; his son, Lonty and daughter-in-law, Rachelle; grandsons, Kaleb and Kamden of Kearney; daughter, Danea Biltoft and son-in-law, Leigh; and grandsons, Jordan and Sean of Spokane, Wash. He is also survived by his brothers, Gerald Bryant of Grand Island, Wayne Bryant of McCook, Bill Bryant of Curtis; and his sisters, Doris Whitacre of Kearney, June Tomko of Ohio and Darlene Combs of Louisiana and their families. Floyd passed from this life that he loved so much on June 5, 2004, following surgery at Clarkson Hospital in Omaha.

Floyd loved a good story, to be asked for help which was given without question or expectance of payback. He dedicated his life to making the hill country better ranch country, fixing up ill-kept places and helping neighbors. He will be missed by many and we hope God gives him his wishes. Heaven for Floyd will be an ill-kept ranch. His family also knows that the fences will be fixed, corrals built, cattle sorted and things readied before they arrive. Love you Dad, and God bless.

Funeral services were June 9, 2004. The Rev. Brian Fong officiated at the 2 p.m. service. Sandoz Chapel of the Pines was in charge of the funeral arrangements. Memorials may be given to the Floyd Bryant Scholarship Fund.