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Dr. Herbert Bryant, Professor of English, 1973-2006, passes at 89

Published Sept. 18, 2020

Herbert Bryant, born August 15, 1931 in Augusta, Georgia, passed away quietly at home in Monroe, Louisiana on September 6, 2020. He is survived by his wife, Marilea; son, Bert Bryant and wife, Denise; daughter, Caroline Baker and husband, Tim; granddaughter Leslie Delozier; great granddaughter Riley Delozier; and brother, Van Glover.

Following his graduation from Richmond Academy in Augusta, Georgia, Herb joined the U.S. Navy, serving for two years aboard the aircraft carrier U S S Yorktown during the Korean War. Upon receiving a B.A. in Journalism from the University of South Carolina in 1957, he worked as a photojournalist for the Charleston News and Courier, and then as a staff writer for the Atlanta Journal. A highlight of his time as a newspaper journalist was interviewing Adlai Stevenson II, who ran twice for President against Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Returning to the University of South Carolina, Herb received a Master’s Degree in English, after which he taught at Pfeiffer College in North Carolina. He completed his education in 1973 with a Ph.D. in English from the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville. He soon joined the faculty of the Department of English at the University of Louisiana at Monroe where he remained until his retirement in 2006. Professor Bryant’s major focus was 18th Century British and American Literature and Literature of the South. He also taught courses in Journalism, Mass Media, Technical Writing and Creative Writing. In 1977, he designed and supervised an extensive creative writing workshop for high school students, supported by a large grant from the Louisiana Department of Education. In 1994, he traveled to Argentina on a Fulbright Scholarship.

In his youth, Herb was an avid reader of the Western novels of Zane Grey. A gifted young artist, he collected every issue of the Saturday Evening Post that featured a Norman Rockwell painting on its cover. Later, he would produce outstanding works in pen and ink, as well as paintings in watercolor and oil.

Herb possessed a folksy sensibility and easy sense of humor. He was a keen observer of Southern culture and celebrated its eccentricities. Playing the harmonica fit perfectly with his love of Mark Twain. Indeed, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was one of many books he read aloud to his children at bedtime. Another favorite was James Thurber’s The Night The Bed Fell, which, according to Herb’s children, their father not so much read as performed. An aspiring writer, he produced a novel, Noland, as well as numerous short stories. He was a superb editor and enthusiastic supporter of the creative efforts of others.

Herb was a devoted runner and swimmer. He was a scrappy tennis player and a great doubles partner. Open heart surgery, performed by renowned heart surgeon Dr. Denton Cooley in 1989, forced only a temporary break in Herb’s physical activities. Soon after, a newspaper photo showed him pausing between laps at the university swimming pool.

Herb is missed by his family, his friends and the many former students and colleagues who fondly remember him.

Online Registry/Condolences: www.mulhearnfuneralhome.com

Mulhearn Funeral Home
Sterlington Road, Monroe, LA