Rita Gay Bryan, age 71, of Jefferson City, Mo., passed away Thursday, February 28, 2019 at her home.
She was born on February 12, 1948 in Joplin, Mo. the daughter of Neal and Bobbie (Wright) Wade. She was married on November 3, 1966 in Galena, Ks. to James Bryan and her three sons were born from this marriage.
Rita grew up in Galena, Ks. and graduated from Galena High School.
A resident of Jefferson City for the majority of her life, Rita worked for Scholastic and the Missouri Lottery for a brief period. She retired from working in inventory merchandising at the Gerbes Superstores. When her boys were younger, she also loved staying home with them and babysitting other children.
Rita possessed a strong faith and was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church. She was a humble, compassionate and generous person who always put family first. Her prize possessions were the friendships that she collected throughout her life. She enjoyed spending time with her sorority sisters with the Preceptor Theta, Beta Sigma Phi Sorority since 1977 and some of her dearest friends came from this group. She volunteered her time at the Blair Oaks Elementary School and attended events at the Learning Retirement Group. Rita cherished time with her children and grandchildren; attending every sporting event and was the family’s number one fan. She also loved being outdoors, especially water activities: water skiing on the lake, floating down the river, or a family vacation at the ocean. Within all these facets of her life, she fostered and cherished each and every one. Most of all she had a free spirit and always greeted everyone with a smile.
Survivors include: three sons, Darrin Bryan (wife Lisa) of Virginia Beach, Va., Eric Bryan (wife Stacy) of Jefferson City, Mo. and Corey Bryan (wife Stephanie) of Jefferson City, Mo.; one sister, Nancy Porter of Broken Arrow, Ok.; two brothers, Dennis Wade (wife Lola) of Galena, Ks. and Philip Wade (wife Stacey) of Ennis, Tx.; seven grandchildren, Nicole Bryan, Lauren Strange, Dylan Bryan, Reese Bryan, Colten Bryan, Carter Bryan and Parker Bryan; long-time friend, Anabeth Graham (husband John); and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents and brother-in-law, Eugene Porter.
Visitation will be held at First United Methodist Church in Jefferson City from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, 2019.
Memorial services will be conducted at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at the First United Methodist Church with the Reverend Daniel Hilty officiating.
Those desiring may make memorial contributions to the Special Learning Center, Blair Oaks Booster Club or the Boys and Girls Club of the Capital City to honor Rita’s passion for taking care of children.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.