1939 – 2014
SCARBOROUGH — Beverley Ann Bryant, 74, of Reef Road in Cape Elizabeth, died peacefully on Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough.
Born in York on Feb. 19, 1939, she was the daughter of George and Helene (Grace) Brooks. She attended local Kittery schools and was very active in sports and co-curricular activities, graduating from R.W. Traip Academy in 1957, and the University of Maine in Orono in 1961, with a bachelor’s degree in education. While at the University of Maine, she was a member of a special scuba diving team. She later graduated from the University of Maine in Farmington, with a master’s degree in education. Beverley returned to R.W. Traip Academy as a physical education teacher and cheerleading coach, and began a lifetime devoted to education.
Beverley married Gordon Bryant in 1962, at Camp Waziyatah in Waterford and relocated to Piermont, N.Y., where she taught and coached at Tappan Zee High School. They returned to Maine and started a family in Pemaquid and Livermore Falls. In 1968, they moved to Harmony, R.I., where she taught physical education and coached gymnastics, cross-country and track and field at Ponaganset High School. She orchestrated a yearly dance extravaganza, which turned the high school gym into a magical place. She went on to become an elite women’s gymnastics judge.
In 1975, the family moved back to Maine. Bev established Bryant Limited, where she created and sold stuffed animals from patterns she designed. She was a member of the Southern Maine Craftsmen. While in South Paris, she and her husband worked at Village Square Realty as associate brokers. She owned and managed several rental properties with her husband.
During a snowstorm in 1990, her car went off the road and she sustained a head injury. She spent several months recovering at New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland, eventually progressing to become a counselor for other survivors at Bayside Neurorehabilitation in Portland. She wrote two books, “In Search of Wings” and “To Wherever Oceans Go,” about her recovery and the effects of her brain injury, later becoming president of Maine Head Injury Foundation.
In 2001, she moved to Cape Elizabeth to be by the ocean, after her husband retired as assistant superintendent of the Oxford Hills School District. She traveled around the country advocating for those with a brain injury; her message of compassion, patience and humor has impacted medical professionals and survivors around the world. Locally, she co-founded Voices, a support group for people with a brain injury, and served as a volunteer at New England Rehabilitation Hospital.
She loved the theater (attending all of the shows at the Ogunquit Playhouse and many at Merrill Auditorium in Portland). She enjoyed traveling, deep sea fishing, swimming, eating out, movies, spending time with her family and playing bingo. She was an active member and certified proctor of American Mensa Ltd.
She is survived by her husband of 51 years; her daughters, Kimberly Bedard of Kittery and Carrie and her husband, Henry Raymond, of South Paris; son, Mark Bryant and his wife, Hilary Lay, of Bath, England; grandchildren, Derek, Andrew and Jessica Bedard, Hope and Sophie Bryant and Casey Raymond; brother, Clifford and his wife, Brenda Bulley; and sister-in-law, Nancy Brooks.
She was predeceased by her parents and brother, George Brooks Jr.