Mary Sue “Susie” Bryan was born in New York City on July 8, 1934 and spent her early childhood in Kewanee, Illinois. Later, she moved to Jacksonville, Florida where her father Captain Fred Priestman established the Naval Reserves at NAS, JAX. His continued duties took the family to Washington, DC and the Pentagon and then back to Jacksonville where he retired from active duty.
She developed her lifelong love of art at Mary Baldwin College, Staunton Virginia where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1956. After graduation, she worked as a fashion model in Miami, Florida returning to Jacksonville to fulfill her dream of becoming a school teacher. Through a chance meeting at a popular local jeweler, she met her husband A.W. “Sandy” Bryan. They were married in 1960 and made a wonderful life together.
She took time off from teaching to raise children and later returned to teach at Ed White HS and Jeff Davis Middle. She served as President of the Ortega Elementary PTA, President of the Stoksia Garden Circle and enjoyed her volunteer work as a docent at the Cummer Museum.
She loved to travel especially to France and had many great adventures across the globe with family and friends. She cherished yearly visits to New York City with her daughters Leslie and Mary Stuart, her daughter-in-law Yvonne and grand-daughters Emmy and Chloe. Her many paintings serve as lasting tributes to all of her great trips around the world. She was predeceased by her parents Fred and Mary Priestman, her brother, Tom Priestman and her husband A.W. (Sandy) Bryan.
She was mother of Leslie Fraleigh (Rocky), Mary Stuart Smith (Allen) and Tom Bryan (Yvonne) and grandmother of Clayton, Camp and Emmy Fraleigh, Austin Smith and Alexander and Chloe Bryan. Family and friends are invited to join the family for a memorial service at the Florida Yacht Club.
Tom and Leslie and family, we were so saddened to hear about your mother’s passing. She was so lovely, and I always enjoyed seeing her at the Honey-dos luncheons at Timuquana and the Yacht Club. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during these tough days. Please let me know if there is anything we can do. Much love, Fred & Carol