Janet “Christine” Bryan, 89, of Elizabethtown passed away on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. She was preceded in death by her parents, George Clayton Johnson and Carrie V. Johnson, her husband, Finley Smith Bryan and one sister, Helen Johnson Brown. Christine is survived by one son, Chuck Bryan (Ellen) of Elizabethtown; two daughters, Elizabeth J. Bryan (Norman LaBrie) of Rhode Island and Finley Anne Bryan of Fayetteville; one sister, Dorcas “Dot” Johnson of Lumberton; four step grandchildren and five step great grandchildren.
A lifelong Methodist, Christine admired the Quakers’ commitment to plain speech. She rejected bigotry and hatred and cherished education and fair mindedness. Christine treated people with respect. She once carried a basket of kittens to the children’s Sunday School class she taught, precipitating utter chaos and radical love.
Her passion was history, not of wars but of people and families. She researched with a scholar’s commitment to evidence. She told her children to pay attention. On the day that integration became law, Christine drove her children to White Lake where hundreds of brown-skinned Sunday School teachers and children left their buses to dive into a previously forbidden lake. The question arose, “Are we going swimming Mama?” Her reply: “No, we’re watching history being made, Pay attention.”
A Memorial service will be held and announced at a later date.
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