Mary Ann Shands Bryan, born on June 14, 1928, in Jacksonville, Florida, passed away peacefully on June 10, 2023, at her home in Atlantic Beach surrounded by her family. Mary Ann wanted to be remembered, in this order, as a wife, a mother, a homemaker, and an artist.
Mary Ann married Joseph Shepard (Shep) Bryan, Jr., on August 10, 1950 and was his devoted and faithful companion and support for over seventy-two years until he passed away on November 22, 2022. She is now reunited with her beloved husband in heaven.
Mary Ann and Shep were the parents of five children. At the time of her death, Mary Ann was the matriarch of a large family that included not only her children, but also thirteen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She was the anchor for her family – a constant presence who was nurturing, compassionate, wise, generous, understanding and accepting. She always instinctively knew and provided just what each individual needed.
Mary Ann made everyone who entered her home feel welcome. Her home was an embracing, warm, safe, and fun place for her children and grandchildren and all their friends. She was the consummate hostess and cook. Her grandchildren particularly looked forward to her home-made meals and desserts. At the end of her life when her eyesight was gone, she loved hearing the sounds of her great-grandchildren at play.
Mary Ann was a modest, but incredibly talented artist. Her creativity was reflected in her unique sense of style, her artwork, her beloved gardens, her experimental cooking, and her patronage of the arts and support of many local artists.
At the end of her life, she said “I want to get back to work, but I can’t. It’s been a good life and quite a ride.” She was the salt of the earth and will be greatly missed.
A private burial will be held on August 5, 2023, followed by a reception in the late afternoon at her home. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Community Hospice Foundation (direct payment to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida), 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, FL 32257; Community Foundation for Northeast Florida (direct payment to J. Shepard Bryan & Mary Ann Bryan Arts Endowment), 245 Riverside Ave, Suite 310, Jacksonville, FL 32202; or Everytown For Gun Safety, www.everytown.org.