Richard Melvin Bryant, Sr., age 72 of Royal Lake, passed away at his home Saturday, March 6, 2021 surrounded by his family.
Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 13, 2021 at the Bibleway House of Prayer, 1858 US 40, Mulberry Grove, Illinois 62262. Visitation will be held prior to the service from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Memorials are asked to be made to the Bryant Family. Interment will be private in Mulberry Grove Cemetery.
Richard, the son of Melvin Bryant and Mattie Bradford, was born February 17, 1949 in Centralia, Illinois. He grew up in Centralia and attended Centralia city schools. Richard married Paula White on September 5, 1970. They enjoyed 38 years together until her passing on October 2, 2008. He married Shirley Jones on November 29, 2015. She has loving cared for him until his passing.
Richard is survived by his children: Richard Jr. (Jennifer) Bryant of Greenville, Keyon (Keona) Bryant of Mesa, AZ, and Teneshia Gardner of Greenville; stepchildren Demetris Jones of Simpsonville, SC. Tamika Jones of Charlotte, NC, and Mario (Consuela) Jones of Decatur; 8 grandchildren, 15 step-grandchildren, and 3 step great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his brothers Raymond Bryant of Birmingham, AL, Thomas Bryant of Mt. Vernon, Steve Bryant of KY, Otis Bryant of Jacksonville, FL, and Jimmy R. (Jeanne) Bryant of St. Louis, MO and his maternal aunt Ophelia Burns. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Paula Bryant, brothers Sam, Curtis, Walter and Robert “Moose” Bryant.
Richard worked at Valley Steel in Centralia for many years then at Nevco Scoreboard in Greenville. His passion in life was ministering to anyone who would listen. He loved to hold revivals and traveled to local churches and several states preaching the Word. He also had a calling to visit local prisons and minister to the inmates. His famous line was “I’m blessed by the best.” Anyone who knew Richard would recognize him by always having a big smile on his face. His nickname growing up was Smiley.
Condolences to the family may be made online www.donnellwiegand.com. Memorials may be made at the church or mailed to Donnell – Wiegand Funeral Home, 203 W. Oak, Greenville, IL 62246.