Atmore's Winnie Bryant enjoys sending greeting cards to her grandchildren

Published 10:49 am Wednesday, October 4, 2006

By Staff
Senior Living
(This week The Atmore Advance spotlights Winnie Bryant, who turned 88 this year.)
Q: When and where were you born?
A: I was born in St. Clair County. It's about 24 miles north of Birmingham.
I was born on January 8, 1918.
Q: Who were your parents?
A: Mr. and Mrs. Francis A. McGowan.
They got married in 1900 because my oldest sister was born in 1902.
Q: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
A: I have one brother, Joseph McGowan.
I also have five sisters. There's Hattie, Maggie, Rose, Ethel, and Ruby.
They all lived in North Alabama and in the suburbs of Birmingham.
Q: Are they still living?
A: My parents and my siblings are all deceased.
Q: Where did you attend high school and/or college?
A: I attended Blunt High School in Blunt County.
I attended college at Howard College in Birmingham.
My husband graduated from Howard College and then from Southern Seminary.
Q: How did your family travel when you were younger?
A: I remember going to church one time in a horse and buggy.
Then my father bought a Model T Ford. We were the second family in the community to have a car.
Q: Do you remember the first vehicle you bought?
A: My husband already had his own vehicle when we got married, but I don't remember what it was.
Q: What jobs have you held?
A: I worked for Loveman's Department Store for a while.
While the children were still at home I didn't work.
Then, when they graduated and moved off, I started working for the Baptist Association.
I was the Secretary in Public Relations.
Q: Did you ever marry?
A: Yes, his name was Cameron Edward Bryant.
We met at a birthday party and he spoke to me first and I thought to myself, "I'm not ready for this."
This was when I was 18 and about six months later we were dating.
We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in 1988.
Cameron passed away in 1988, also.
Q: Do you have any children or grandchildren?
A: We have three boys, Ed Bryant, Ronnie Bryant, and Alvin Bryant and three girls, Francis Bryan, Mary Jernigan and Jessie Ruth Bruner.
Jessie Ruth passed away in January of 2004.
I have 14 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren, and 3 great great grandchildren.
Q: Where do you attend church?
A: Well, my husband was a Baptist preacher.
The first church was The First Baptist Church in Graysville.
The second church was Woodlawn Baptist Church in Birmingham.
The third church was Brooks Memorial Baptist Church in Atmore.
The fourth church that we attended was Chishom Baptist Church in Montgomery.
Cameron retired in 1972. We said we would never come back to Atmore, because we were used to the big cities. The last year we lived in Montgomery we started building a house here in Atmore. I knew he would be unhappy sitting at home while I was working.
Now I attend The First Baptist Church of Atmore, but I still have wonderful friends at Brooks Memorial.
Q: What keeps you busy these days?
A: I'm not very busy these days. This is the first time in my life I've ever really goofed off. The main thing that keeps me busy is sending birthday and Christmas cards to my grandchildren.
Q: Have you traveled much?
A: No I haven't traveled much. My husband's relatives live in Linchburg, Vir. and that's about the furthest I've ever traveled.
I just didn't particularly care for traveling.
Q: What is your favorite television show?
A: "The Price is Right," but I'm not much of a T.V. watcher. I'd rather read a book.
Q: What advice can you give on staying healthy?
A: Live right, don't drink, don't smoke, don't lie, don't curse, go to church, and serve the Lord.
(If you would like to recommend a senior to be spotlighted please contact Stacie Cofield at 368-2123 or e-mail her at

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