William "Bill" Bryan, 65, died Monday, November 12, 2012, in Birmingham, Alabama, surrounded by his family. Visitation will be at Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home in Downtown Jackson, Mississippi from 4 pm until 7 pm on Thursday, November 15, 2012. Funeral services will be held on Friday, November 16, with visitation from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm and services beginning at 2:30 pm in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Jackson. A burial service, following the ceremony, will take place at Wright & Ferguson in Ridgeland, Mississippi.
Mr. Bryan was preceded in death by his father, Dr. Clyde C. Bryan, in 2000. He is survived by his mother, Josephine Scruggs Bryan, of Jackson, Mississippi; his three children, Marcy Croft Vick and her husband, Aaron, of Madison, Mississippi, Tracy Rhinewalt and her husband, Michael, of Madison, Mississippi, and William Chase Bryan and his wife, Jordan, of Madison, Mississippi; his four grandchildren, Caroline Croft, Emerson Rhinewalt, Noah Vick, and Ava Croft, all of Madison, Mississippi; his sister, Becky Bryan Allen, and her husband, Charles, of Carrollton, Georgia; his nephew, Chris Allen, and his wife, Julie, and family of Rome, Georgia; and, his bride-to-be, Betty Bridewell, and her two sons, Charlie and Burke, of Brandon, Mississippi.
Mr. Bryan was born November 1, 1947 in Nashville, Tennessee. He attended Hattiesburg High School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi having earned both his B.A. and M.B.A. from the school.
Mr. Bryan and his family founded Bryan Tours of Jackson, Mississippi in 1964. He began his professional career at the age of 21 as one of the youngest college professors in the country serving as a full time faculty member at Carson Newman College in Tennessee. After moving to Jackson, Mississippi and taking over the family business, Mr. Bryan worked as a travel executive for over 40 years. He had the privilege of travelling to over 100 countries during his lifetime and also served as the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Mississippi World Trade Center. In addition to his work in travel, Mr. Bryan was an instructor in the Aspire Program at Belhaven College teaching international business, economics, and marketing.
He was a longtime member of First Baptist Church of Jackson, where he served as a Deacon and a member of the choir. He was also an avid supporter of the Mississippi Baptist Children's Village and sponsored mission trips throughout the world. Mr. Bryan, as his father before him, leaves behind a legacy of memories and stories from his 40 plus years of travel - some humorous, some adventurous, and some were even rather risky. He was, indeed, a great man who will be loved and missed by his many friends, employees, colleagues, and family.