James Clifton Bryan of White Horse Village in Newtown Square, Pa., passed away peacefully on August 12, 2018, with his daughter Mary by his side. He was 93 years of age.
The son of Dr. Ollie Clifton Bryan and Aileen Mildred Box, he was born December 28, 1924, in Bedford, Ala., and grew up in Gainesville, Fla. Jim was attending the University of Florida when his studies were interrupted by World War II, and he served in the U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1946. He returned to graduate in 1947 and earned a Masters in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1949. Jim put his love of science and chemistry to work for the DuPont Company in Wilmington, Del., for over 35 years, developing products for multiple departments (Fabrics and Finishes, Elastomers, and Polymers). He retired in 1986.
On a blind date in 1953, Jim met Genevieve “Jenny” Alfriend, also with DuPont. They married a year later in her hometown of Charles Town, W.V., then settled in Wallingford, Pa., where they lived for nearly 50 years.
A long time member of Swarthmore Presbyterian Church, Jim served in many capacities there, including trustee, elder, Scout troop leader and teacher. Jim and Jenny were an enthusiastic bridge team and belonged to several bridge clubs. In retirement, Jim enjoyed catching crabs and puttering around their Avalon shore house, volunteering at the Community Arts Center and Furness Library, and vegetable gardening.
He and Jenny traveled the world, visiting 45 countries and attending 20 Elderhostel programs. He took advantage of retiree benefits at the DuPont Country Club, playing golf as often as possible, even after glaucoma took away the satisfaction of actually seeing where his balls landed. After his vision dimmed, Jim turned to audio books, devouring hundreds over the past few years.
Jim is survived by his beloved wife of 64 years, Jenny; sister Mary Bryan Harms of Gainesville, Fla.; four children, Jim Bryan Jr. of Phoenix, Ariz., Anne Westrick (John) of Mechanicsville, Va., Betsy Thurston (Sam) of Marietta, Ga., and Mary Banchero (Jeff) of San Mateo, Calif.; ten grandchildren, Linda, Jane, Ted, Sam, Blair, Ben, Luke, Anna, Michael, and Lena; and one great-grandson, Henry. Jim was predeceased by an infant son Thomas and his brother Dr. William Locke (Bill) Bryan.
Jim was a warm, funny, no-nonsense man who thought for himself and said exactly what he thought. His many friends appreciated his humor, candor, and non-judgmental acceptance of all. A true gentleman, he was beloved by many.
Family and friends are invited to a celebration of Jim Bryan’s life on Saturday, August 18, at 1 p.m., at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church, 727 Harvard Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081 with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Swarthmore Presbyterian Church are welcome. Condolences may be posted at www.haganfuneralhome.com.