Gordon Whitman Bryant, Jr.

Gordon Whitman Bryant, Jr.

Died April 22, 2008

At the time of his death on April 22, 2008, Gordon (Butch) Bryant and his wife Sherry still lived in the same house they bought when they got married in 1971. He had found his roots in Wayland, Massachusetts – literally. A genealogical search discovered that his ancestors had lived in Wayland since the 1700s.

After two years of active duty as a Naval officer aboard a destroyer tender, much of it in the Mediterranean, Butch returned home to Boston where his family owned Lauriat’s Inc., a small chain of book stores, selling everything from rare editions to party favors. First as Manager of the flagship store and then as vice president, he worked for Lauriat’s until 1971, when his father was forced by illness to sell the business. From then on Butch spent much of his life on the road, or as he put it, “jumped the desk.” He traveled throughout Massachusetts as a manufacturer’s representative to retail outlets.

Butch and Sherry had three sons; and, when he wasn’t traveling, the man who had become an Eagle Scout at the age of 13 worked with the local Boy Scout troop. He remained in the Naval Reserve and retired after 21 years’ service. In the 25th reunion class book, Butch wrote, “scouting, little league, band concerts, etc., are far more meaningful than the big deal. Finding a wife who agrees with this has made life very fulfilling.”

Medical problems convinced him to quit work in the mid-1980s and, once the boys were off to college, he hit the road again, this time with Sherry, crisscrossing the United States and Canada more than half a dozen times in their van, antiquing all the way. They never made hotel reservations, just stayed wherever the road had taken them by the end of the day.

There are now six Bryant grandchildren, and Butch got to know three of them before he passed away at the age of 65.