Sally Winton Bryan

Bryan‚ÄĒSally Winton Bryan, 95, on October 25, 2015, in San Juan Island, Wash. Sally was born on July 15, 1920, in New Orleans, La., to Beatrice Stricker and David Knox Winton. Later her family lived in¬†Mississippi, Arkansas,¬†and Illinois before Sally left to attend Mount Holyoke College. She married James Bryan while he was studying engineering at¬†Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and moved with him to his first position in Chattanooga, Tenn.¬†They were unhappy in the South, and he accepted a position at Boeing that brought them to Seattle, Wash., in 1954.¬†There they investigated a number of churches before finding University Meeting, which¬†they joined as a family of six in 1955.¬†Sally became a most cherished Friend, attending regularly for the next 20 years, serving as clerk for five of them.

What Sally and Jim really wanted to do was to become teachers. While Jim, with his Boeing position, supported the family, Sally studied to be a teacher. Once she had a paid position at West Seattle High School, Jim studied to teach and then taught engineering at a community college, while Sally was a popular teacher of English, world philosophy, and lab writing at Roosevelt High School. At the height of this career, she retired early to make room for good younger teachers with careers ahead of them when Seattle schools faced a financial crisis. The Bryans gave up their Seattle home in 1975 and moved to what had been a vacation cabin on San Juan Island, where they lived for the rest of their lives in what became a kind of family compound.

Her removal from Seattle meant that many current members of University Meeting have no memory of her. She kept her membership and became a key founder of San Juan Worship Group, but she was no longer the central presence in University Meeting she had been. Friends from the days she was in the meeting do remember clearly her deeply relevant ministries in meeting for worship, her sensitive practicality in meeting for worship with attention to business, and her ability to quote a poem (frequently T.S. Eliot or W.H. Auden) relevant to the issue at hand.

She never stopped seeking and learning: reading constantly and widely, especially poetry‚ÄĒwhich she also wrote‚ÄĒand in her late years pursuing research on brain functioning.¬†She¬†took daily care of her grandchildren¬†and more¬†recently, great-grandchildren. Family was of central importance to her.

Her husband, Jim Bryan, died in 1993, and she was also preceded in death by her oldest daughter. She is survived by three children, eight grandchildren, and fifteen great-grandchildren.

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