Virginia May Bryant October 13, 1915 - April 13, 2024


Virginia May Bryant

October 13, 1915 - April 13, 2024

Virginia May Bryant, 108, died peacefully at Hospice of Laramie on Saturday April 13, 2024 in Laramie, Wyoming.

Virginia was born October 13, 1915, the second child of Albert and Ethel DeGering at Hat Creek, Wyoming. Virginia's birth was a dramatic beginning, as she was born in the old Hat Creek Stage Station where her parents had stopped while driving their horse-drawn wagon to the nearest doctor in Lusk about 35 miles away from their home.  Virginia was raised on her parents' homestead, the Bar Six Ranch, on Coyote Creek in the Hat Creek community, with her six siblings. As the second oldest child, and oldest daughter, she was given many responsibilities in helping her Mother, including looking after the younger children, helping watch livestock and helping with household chores.

As a young girl, she loved roaming the hills near their home, dipping some honey out of the honey separator, and playing with her siblings along the creek in the shade of the cottonwood trees.  After attending one-room country schools, she boarded with families in Lusk to attend Lusk High School, graduating with the class of 1933. Receiving her teaching certificate from the Nebraska State Normal School (now Chadron State College), she returned to the Hat Creek area in 1934 to teach K-8 at three one-room country schools over the next four years.  In 1938, Virginia made the big trip to Laramie to attend the University of Wyoming and obtain her BA in Education which she received in December 1940. Shortly afterward, she married her high school and college sweetheart, Ed Bryant in June 1941.  During the early years of WWII, Ed and Viginia worked in Washington D.C. and began their family with the birth of their son, Edward “Eddie” Bryant in 1943. Virginia then spent the remaining war years both at the ranch in Hat Creek and later in Hawaii where Ed was stationed at the end of the war.

After the war, she and Ed moved to Laramie where he became a professor in Statistics at the University of Wyoming and Virginia began her focus on being a homemaker and supportive partner. In 1947, their daughter Bonnie was born and the family was complete.  The years raising her family were filled with Cub Scouts, concerts, baseball, League of Women Voters, church functions, school projects, faculty dinners, picnics with friends and fishing trips to the Snowy Range in the Medicine Bow Mountains. Eventually moving to Potomac, Maryland to follow Edward's new company which he started with two of his UW grad students, Virginia continued to provide a perfect home for Ed even after her children had grown and moved away.

After the tragic death of her daughter-in-law, Lydia Bryant in 1974, Virginia stepped in to help raise her three young grandchildren while her son, Eddie, adjusted to a new life without his wife.  This was a new unexpected but welcome phase of her life, caring directly for those she loved.  After the three grandchildren had grown, Virginia spent over a year caring for her beloved Bonnie throughout her battle with brain cancer, and helped care for her baby daughter, Katie, during this difficult time and after Bonnie's death. Virginia's drive to care for those she loved was unstoppable throughout her life and she was always concerned with the well-being and happiness of others.

After Ed's death in 2008, Virginia moved back to Laramie to be closer to her grandson and great-grandchildren. She spent her final years in Laramie watching her great-grandchildren grow-up, baking cookies, attending family gatherings, and making new friends at the Regency Retirement Residence where she lived independently.

Virginia is survived by her brother John DeGering (Lusk, Wyoming), granddaughter Lisa Bryant (Scottsbluff, Nebraska), granddaughter Katie Kirkpatrick (Colorado Springs, Colorado), grandson Eric Bryant and wife Darcy (Laramie, Wyoming) great-grandchildren Isaac, Elijah, Helena and Liam Bryant, and Alexandra Freeman (Laramie, Wyoming).

Funeral service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday April 19 at the Congregational Church of Lusk interment will follow at Lusk Cemetery.

Pier Funeral Home in Lusk, Wyoming is in charge of arrangements.