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In Memory Of Our Poets

Mary Ellen Mathews (Bryan) (1925-2014) - Class Of 1943

Mary Ellen Mathews Bryan, 89, a lifelong resident of Montgomery died peacefully Thursday, September 4, 2014. Memorial services will be held at 2:00 PM, Sunday, September 7 at First United Methodist Church with visitation beginning at 1:00 PM in the church's Fellowship Hall.

Mary Ellen graduated from Lanier High School and attended Mary Baldwin College for two years. As travel became more difficult during World War II, she transferred to and graduated from the University of Alabama with a BA in Music. After graduation, she returned to Montgomery to work at her father's furniture store. She was active in many civic organizations in the Montgomery area including committee chairman, secretary, and board member of The Junior League of Montgomery, President of the 20th Century Literary Club, President of the Montgomery Dyslexia Research Foundation, and President of the Dogwood Garden Club.

Mary Ellen was a faithful member of Court Street Methodist Church and First United Methodist Church, where she served on many boards and committees over the years. When Mary Ellen wasn't raising three boys, she enjoyed many hobbies including doing various types of handwork such as French handsewing, cross stitch, knitting and needlepoint. Many of her needlepoint works can be found around FUMC. For relaxation, she enjoyed various card games and was an avid bridge player. Like her mother, she had a green thumb and her garden of annuals and perennials was admired by many - even once being featured in Southern Living.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Spede Joseph Bryan, Jr. and her parents Joseph Gibson Mathews and Genie Blue Howard Mathews. She is survived by her three sons, Spede Joseph Bryan, III (Sondra), Judkins Mathews Bryan (Rebecca), and William Carithers Bryan (Carolyn); six grandchildren: Aimee Bryan Northrup (Wyatt), Spede Joseph Bryan IV, Judkins Mathews Bryan, Jr., Lee Ellen Bryan, Blake Matthews Bryan (Mary Ann) and Katherine Bryan Berry (Jordan); three great-grandchildren: John Embry Northrup, Elizabeth Grace Northrup and John Tyler Bryan; and two loving sisters, Mrs. Genie Blue Palmer of Birmingham, AL and Mrs. Evelyn Pierson of Gadsden, AL. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to First United Methodist Church.

Published in the Montgomery Advertiser from Sept. 6 to Sept. 7, 2014.