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Donald Bryant

Donald Joseph Bryant

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Obituary

Donald Joseph Bryant
1938-2021

Donald Joseph Bryant was born in Blythe, California on September 5, 1938 to Juanita and Bernard Bryant. He died on March 6th, 2021 at his home in Twin Falls, Idaho after a long battle with cancer, surrounded by his family. He was 82 years old.

Don was the first grandson born to the Bryant and Denewiler families, being so he was exceedingly popular amongst his grandparents, who called him “Donny Boy”. He took every chance he could get to pack his bags and go to their homes because he knew he’d be spoiled. He had to share the attention when his two brothers, Frank and Bud, joined the family. They were all close in age.

In the 5th grade Don contracted Spinal Meningitis and was unconscious for many days. He lived with his grandparents for 6 weeks while being nursed back to health. His family moved in 1951 to Yucaipa but Don stayed in Blythe and finished 7th grade while living with his grandparents and working on their farm. He remembers hanging burlap bags on the John Deere combine, while his uncle drove the tractor that pulled it and his grandpa tied the sacks. He later followed to be with the family in Yucaipa and loved participating in basketball, baseball and track there.

By 9th grade he knew he wanted to be a farmer and joined the FFA. His first project was 500 laying hens. He developed his skill of ping pong during this time, having a table set up in their garage. This skill came in handy when he got older and challenged his kids and grandkids at family gatherings where the ping pong table took over the living room.

Don’s senior year was a highlight for him. He bought his first truck, a 53 Ford pickup (6-cylinder, 3-speed). He also went to Disneyland when it first opened. That year a McDonald’s was built in his town and he was able to purchase 3 hamburgers for one dollar. He excelled at school by this point and was dubbed “Brainy Bryant”. This was also the year he went to the state FFA convention on the Cal Poly campus in San Luis Obispo. The Farm Management major was just created and it pulled him from his initial intentions to attend U.C. Davis and major in Ag Economics.

In the summer he worked hard for his Uncle Walt on his farm for 75 cents per hour, he quickly realized it wasn’t going to be enough to get him through his first year of college so he got a union job shoveling gravel out from under a gravel crusher. The pay was great at $2.25 per hour and he had free room and board with his aunt and uncle. This allowed him to be the first Bryant or Denewiler off to college! He loved the program he was in and he quickly knew he had made the right decision. His classmates referred to him as “Straight Arrow”.

In the summer Don wanted to earn more money for school so he took a high paying job with the post office, but he was bored and wanted his hands in the dirt, even if it meant being paid less. He said it was a good lesson to learn early on.

He loved his farm management and accounting classes so he figured out another way to pay for school by working at the “E Bar L” dude ranch with friends just east of Missoula, Montana for the summer making $200 a month. He barely made enough for school but he talked often about how that experience was one of the best in his life. After another round of schooling he spent the next summer working for the San Bernardino County Extension Service. That job gave him enough money to finish his senior year where he was the general superintendent for Poly Royal and served on the student affairs council. In 1960 he graduated with honors from Cal Poly.

After graduating, Don enlisted in the Army National Guard and did basic training at Fort Ord and later went on to Fort Knox, Kentucky in the infantry division. After 6 months of active duty and being trained as a tank driver and gunner he went back to California to work at Heidrick Farms where he managed 7,000 acres of alfalfa. Although it was a sleepless job he made time to go to a dance in Woodland and there he met his wife Brenda Joy. He said he liked talking to that, “pretty girl with dark curly hair.” They went on several dates where Don fell asleep because of his demanding schedule. Brenda later said “I thought, if I want to spend time with this guy I better marry him!” He later was employed at Dow Chemical Research Farm in Davis, CA. This job change gave him more time and they later married on September 14, 1963. Three years later their first daughter, Laura, was born. Soon after Don became the manager of the Gainey Ranch in Santa Ynez, CA where they lived for 6 years working with alfalfa, cattle, horses, beans, tomatoes, beets and flowers for seed. Their second child, Chris, was born during their time there. After vacationing to Idaho a few times they decided to move there In 1973 where he accepted a job from Allen Noble as a manager at Farm Development Corporation in Glenns Ferry, Idaho. Don and Brenda felt strongly that this was the year the Lord had a hand in their lives. Through wonderful new friends they were introduced to the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints and were baptized. Two more children joined their family, Mike and Shawna. Don bought a river boat at Christmas for the family. He was so excited they bundled up and took it out on the Snake River New Years Day. The kids learned to water ski and trap muskrats. He also had many adventures running rapids with his buddies from work. Don and Wes Farris spent some good years working on a farming partnership together and later in 1983 the family moved nearby to 40 acres in Hammett to give the kids their own farming/ranching experience. Don wanted to instill the, “Learn by Doing”, motto from his old alma mater. They moved irrigation pipe, milked cows, sheared sheep, and helped with the lambing season. In 1990 Don was called to be a Bishop of the Glenns Ferry ward. By this time Don had worked at FDC for 17 years, that calculates to approximately 10,608 times he drove the notorious sailor creek road. Although he mastered the twists and turns he was dreaming of a place to call home where his work was located right out the doorstep.

That dream was realized through a farming partnership with Wes Wootan on Black Mesa Farms in 1990. They raised 640 acres of potatoes. His son Chris later joined him in the daily work and in 1995 Don and Brenda built a home on the farm close to the shop. Don enjoyed stepping out his door in the morning and being at work. This home became an oasis in the desert for the Bryant family, a place for them to come together. Don made sure to plant hundreds of trees that provided a wind break around their home. He watched them grow to maturity and enjoyed sitting outside watching them sway. There will be forever memories of basketball games, tri-tip dinners (Don’s favorite), swimming in the reservoir, picking corn, pumpkins and strawberries in the garden, bike rides and easter egg hunts. Don loved pruning his fruit trees and picking apples in the orchard. Life on the mesa also came with it’s natural challenges of wind, hail, fire and snow. There were long hours of hard work and grandkids driving truck to help out during harvest. After 28 years on the farm and at the age of 77 Don decided it was time to hang up his hat and move to a smaller place in Twin Falls. In retirement he loved working in the yard, zooming around on his riding lawn mower and watching over the family, praying for them and the country daily. Moving to Twin Falls proved to be a blessing with the St. Luke’s Cancer Institute so nearby. In 2018 Don was diagnosed with his 4th bout of cancer. This time the doctors determined it was terminal but after extreme radiation treatments and Don’s true grit and faith he miraculously recovered. He had two lovely years with his family until the cancer relentlessly returned. After 45 years of doctors constantly treating him he knew it was time to go. He fought an amazing battle that has left all he knew in admiration of him.

The family would like to express their sincere gratitude for sustaining them throughout this time.
Don is survived by his adoring wife Brenda; his children Laura (Shane) Loar, Chris (Dawni) Bryant, Mike (Lindsey) Bryant, and Shawna (Damon) Andreasen and his brother Frank (Patti) Bryant. He is a grandfather to 22 grandchildren (the first 9 serving missions for the LDS church around the world) and 2, almost 3 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 11am Saturday, March 13th, 2021, at the Glenns Ferry Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located on 874 Old U.S. 30, with Bishop Larry Bauman officiating. The family will host a viewing from 10-10:30 the morning of the service. Burial will follow at the Glenns Ferry Cemetery. The service will be live streamed at whitereynoldschapel.com on Don’s obituary page. You can also share a memory of Don or send a condolence to his family at this site. In lieu of flowers the family asks that you donate to the charity of your choice.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, March 13th, 2021 | 10:00am - 10:45am
    When
    Saturday, March 13th, 2021 10:00am - 10:45am
    Location
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -Glenns Ferry
    Address
    874 Old U.S. 30
    Glenns Ferry, Idaho 83623
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, March 13th, 2021 | 11:00am
    When
    Saturday, March 13th, 2021 11:00am
    Location
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -Glenns Ferry
    Address
    874 Old U.S. 30
    Glenns Ferry, Idaho 83623
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    Officiant
    Bishop Larry Bauman
  • Interment

    Saturday, March 13th, 2021 |
    When
    Saturday, March 13th, 2021
    Location
    Glenn Rest Cemetery
    Address
    2005 Frontage Rd.
    Glenns Ferry, Idaho 83623
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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