Edna M. Bryant
Edna Marguerite Dailey Bryant, 96, of Manhattan, Kansas died on the evening of the Epiphany; Friday, January 6, 2017 in the home her father built in 1938. She was surrounded by family and loved ones.
Edna was born in Manhattan, Kansas on December 22, 1920 to Emily and Charles Otto “C.O.” Dailey. The family moved to central and then western Kansas and later returned to Manhattan in 1927 where Edna attended school. She graduated from Manhattan High School in 1938 and Kansas State College of Agricultural and Applied Science in 1942 with a degree in Home Economics and Art. She was particularly proud of spending a year studying art under Birger Sandzén at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas.
After graduating from college, Edna moved to Kansas City, Missouri; working first at Emory Bird Thayer and, later, after training in sheet metal work, at North American Aviation. There she was a member of the final mechanical adjustment team (Squawk Crew) on B-25s when she decided to enlist for the duration of the war effort. In 1942 she enlisted in the U.S. Marine Women’s Reserve because the Marines had the best looking uniforms. Basic training was at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and stations of duty included Naval Air Technical Air Training as an Aviation Machinist Mate in Norman, Oklahoma, and deployment to El Toro, California. Edna reached the rank of Corporal.
Following discharge from the service, Edna returned to her parents’ home in Manhattan, Kansas to pursue a graduate degree at K- State. She met her husband Era, a fellow Marine, on a blind date here in Manhattan, Kansas. They married six months later and celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary the December before Era’s death in 2013.
Edna and Era raised three daughters who all graduated from Manhattan High School and attended Kansas State University. During this time she volunteered for the Girl Scouts, was very active with the Riley County Extension Service: as a 4-H club leader, fair judge, and an active participant on the fair board. She was a charter member and officer of the Stardusters Extension Homemaker Unit (EHU). Edna felt honored when she was invited to be a member of the Domestic Science Club in 1975 and was an honorary life member, serving as President from 1979 to 1980.
The Methodist Church was near to her heart and she served in leadership roles for the Naomi Methodist’s Women’s Circle, sang in the Choraliers’ Choir, performed in the Bell Choir, and spent over a decade decorating the church sanctuary for Sunday services with flowers and greenery from church members’ yards.
Edna especially enjoyed the arts, reading, and traveling throughout the United States. She volunteered for Manhattan Community Theater in the 1950s and ‘60s designing and constructing costumes for multiple plays. She greatly enjoyed participating in watercolor workshops with fellow artists at the Manhattan Arts Center. Recent travels with family included an Alaskan cruise in 2014, Niagara Falls and trip across Canada in 2016, and yearly summer road trips to Washington State via various routes since 1974.
Edna’s daughters believe she was instrumental in instilling in them a strong will, sense of adventure and humor, pride in volunteerism, and execution of civic duty, appreciation of different cultures and diversity, as well as skill in and love of the arts. These were the greatest gifts she could have given them.
Edna was predeceased by her parents, Emily and C.O. Dailey, brother Charles “Chuck” Dailey Jr. and husband Era Matthew David Bryant. She is survived by three daughters: Margaret “Peg” Bryant and husband Cordy Cooke of Roslyn, Washington; Katherine Wade of Kansas City, Missouri, and Susan Farr of Manhattan, Kansas; grandchildren Amie Smith and husband Rick Smith, Nicole Wade, Andrew Wade and Emilia Farr, great-grandsons Shawn and Zachary Goodin, sister-in-law Nolita Jean Dailey, one niece and three nephews.
Funeral Services will be at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at the First United Methodist Church, Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas with the Reverend Diana Chapel officiating. Interment will follow in the Sunset Cemetery, Manhattan, Kansas.
Visitation will be from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 13th, at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Ogden Friendship House in Ogden, Kansas, The Manhattan Art Center (The MAC), or the First United Methodist Church in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.
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