Sara Olivia Bryan, 73, departed from this life on Thursday, January 4, 2018 in her home. Sara was the youngest of six children and the last member of her immediate family.
Born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Sara was the daughter of the Reverend Felix F. Bryan and Mrs. Laney S. Bryan Ward and the stepdaughter of the Reverend John H. Ward. Sara was raised in North Carolina and graduated from West Charlotte High School with the highest grade point average in her class. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics. Sara was one of 11 Black students in the first racially integrated class at the University. She graduated in only three years. Later, she earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Michigan.
Sara moved to Delaware after college and dedicated her life to the care and educational needs of her students. She worked as a mathematics teacher and administrator for 28 years until her retirement. Most of her career was spent in the Wilmington Public School District and the later years were in the Red Clay School District. She made a positive difference in the lives of her students every day. She also taught mathematics during summer sessions at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Developmental Instruction. After her retirement, Sara was an entrepreneur of an interior design and gift basket company, Victorian Specialties.
An active member of her community, Sara served as Assistant Scout Leader to Junior Girl Scout Troop 941. She was a Golden Life Member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and held numerous leadership roles in the organization, including undergraduate Chapter Advisor of Mu Pi at the University of Delaware, President of the Wilmington (DE) Alumnae Chapter (1991 to 1994) and other offices. Sara was a woman of strong faith and a member of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington.
Sara loved to travel, play Sudoku, collect elephants and US postage stamps, discuss politics and watch television. She sent greeting cards to loved ones that were beautifully decorated with stickers and stamps. In addition, she had the best candy drawer ever. Most importantly, Sara loved and adored her family and friends.
She was predeceased by her parents; stepfather; three sisters: Mrs. Felicia B. Johnson, Mrs. Addie B. Jackson and Mrs. Eurania B. Young; and two brothers: Felix F. Bryan, Jr. (in infancy) and Dr. Jesse A. Bryan.
She leaves her most devoted friend Mrs. Doris Wilkins (Dave); her 13 precious nephews/nieces: Felix E. Farrar (Joan), the Reverend Dr. Cynthia F. Burse, Bruce L. Bryan (Wilma), Ardith E. Harmon, the Reverend Shelia A. Council, Sharon E. Young, Brian L. Young (Andreen), Saundra Y. Sanders, Selestine Y. Adams (Clyde), William B. “Bernard” Young, Kenneth B. Young (Clarissa), Tami R. Bryan-Branker (Ray) and Jason A. Bryan (Leah); 27 grandnephews/nieces; 18 great, grandnephews/nieces; beloved sister-in-law Virgie D. Bryan; brother-in-law Alton Jackson, Jr.; dear cousins: Lila M. Harvey and Dr. William A. Birchette III; special friends: Glenda Brewington, Phyllis Hill, Claudette Jackson, Linda O’Neal, Charity Patton, Andrewetta Shaw and Kathryn Thomas; three godchildren: the Reverend Shawn Barnett (Wesley), Bakari Wilkins and Britney Brewington; as well as a host of sorority sisters, relatives, friends and former students both near and far. We will cherish her memory fondly.
At Sara’s request, there will not be a public funeral. A private celebration of her life including a committal of ashes will be held at the family’s convenience. The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Wilmington (DE) Alumnae Chapter, will conduct an Omega Omega ceremony on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 6:30 pm at Canaan Baptist Church, 3011 New Castle Avenue, New Castle, DE 19720.. All are welcome to attend this ceremony.
Memorial gifts in Sara’s name may be sent to the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Wilmington (DE) Alumnae Chapter, P.O. Box 11723 Wilmington, DE 19850-1723 or the Felix F. Bryan and Laney S. Bryan Ward Memorial Scholarship through the Bloomsburg University Foundation, 50 East Main St. 4th Floor, Bloomsburg, PA 17815-1301. The family wishes to offer special thanks to Ms. Pat Bennett and the Congo Funeral Home, 2317 N Market St, Wilmington, DE 19802 who are entrusted with the arrangements.