June 14, 1916 - January 11, 2017 On the morning of Wednesday, January 11, Martha Olivia Moore Bryant passed away peacefully at her home. A lifelong resident of Huntsville, she was, throughout her 100 years on Earth known as a Daughter, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, and a friend to many and with each role she served she enriched all of those around her with her warm presence and radiant personality. Martha was born June 14, 1916 at 422 East Holmes Avenue, the home of her grandparents, Dr. William J. Humphrey and Mattie Burwell Humphrey. She was born to Olivia Beatrice Humphrey Moore, "Mama Ollie", and Andrew Jackson Moore "Jackie Boy". She grew up at 417 East Holmes during a time when a streetcar still ran to downtown. Her father was an early car dealer in Huntsville and operated A.J. Moore Motors for many years on Greene Street. She spent her summers at "Moore Haven" the name given to the family's mountain home nestled amid the cool breezes at the top of Monte Sano where as a teenager she would often spend her days riding her horse and driving her Model A Ford convertible. With a loving fondness she often described the invaluable instruction and wisdom she would receive while sitting on the steamer trunk of her grandfather Dr. W.J. Humphrey as he recalled his lessons. A lifelong teacher, he had been born in 1848 in Madison County and she lovingly called him "Professor" and "Poppa". She matriculated at Huntsville High School graduating in the class of 1934 and excelled in academics and basketball. Instilled with the academics of her grandfather and the ingenuity and drive of her father, she enrolled at Texas Women's University in Denton, Texas. Her time in Texas would not be long as in 1935 on a trip home to Huntsville she met her true love, Hall Blake "Buddy" Bryant. Set up together on a blind date, the two would often take day trips to Buddy's family farm and would spend the summer evenings eating rum raisin ice cream on her porch in the family swing. The couple's evening romance would be interrupted by Buddy's uncle, the city alderman H.C. Blake, who would dim the street lights nightly to signify that it was time for Buddy to walk home. After a brief courtship, Martha and Buddy were engaged and soon she would transfer to Florence State Teachers College (University of North Alabama) to be only a short train ride away from him. While there, she majored in English Literature at Florence and was a member of Sigma Tau Delta Honorary English Fraternity as well as serving as the President of the Women's Student Association. A talented singer, she sang in the school's Glee Club and traveled to Nashville to sing "Shortening Bread" on WSM. On July 23, 1937 Martha and Buddy were wed at her family home. They were married for 53 years until Buddy's death in July 1990. Being active in the community, they built a life together and were parents to six children. Martha was a lifelong member and supporter of Central Presbyterian Church where her family has attended for generations. She was ordained as one of the first female elders of the church, a member of the Order of St. Luke, a Church Circle member, and Child Evangelism Outreach. Martha formed numerous lasting friendships in her neighborhood and through her activity in the Twickenham Town Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Judge David Campbell Daughters of the American Colonists, the Garden Study Club, the Opit-Mrs. Club, the Huntsville Madison County Historical Society, the Twickenham Historical Association, the Aladdin Club, PTA, and as a Girl Scout Leader. She counted swimming as one her favorite activities and even installed a "bubble" over her backyard pool to enjoy swimming in the winter. Her travels took her to Europe, Canada, Colorado and around the United States. She was an avid reader, and a lifelong learner often consulting her globe and World Books. Armed with her magnifying glass and telephone she was always on call for advice. Martha's strong faith and sense of community inspired her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to live a life with purpose and integrity. Even at the age of 100 years, she continued to be the family matriarch and leader and possessed a youthful spirit and an inquisitive mind. Never wanting to "leave the Partie", Mama leaves behind a legacy of love, humor and a sense of seeking new adventure. Her daily wisdom, advice and influence on all that knew her will be deeply missed. Her later years were made more comfortable by her family and the care of her physician, Dr. Butch Kinzer, as well as the special love and attention of Sadie Morris, Doris Mann, Tina Martin, Winda Ford, and Rita. She is survived by her six children: Mrs. Olivia Bryant Crump of Cleveland, TN., Mrs. Sara Bryant Batson, Hall Blake Bryant, Jr. (Susan Westbrook Bryant), Mrs. Nancy Moore Bryant, Mrs. Ann Bryant Myers (Rodney Shipman Myers) all of Huntsville, and Jackie Bryant Higgins (Thomas Bardon Higgins), of Vail, CO. She was grandmother to eighteen grandchildren: Jody Bridges(Jim), Dr. Sara Beth Fair(Steve), Captain William Crump III USN(Carol), Hall Bryant III (Mem), Bryant Crump(Lakin), Jim Batson (Bonnie), Dr. Richard Bryant (Trisha), Martha Burgoon (Bob), Tricia Murray(Jon), Ann Crump, Allison Pullen (Aaron), Chris Avery, Dr. Blake Higgins, Andy Myers, Albert Myers, Hillary Higgins, Jackson Higgins, and Raymie Higgins; 24 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Pallbearers will be her grandsons. Her service will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at Central Presbyterian Church at 406 Randolph Street in Huntsville. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. at the church with a service following at 12 noon. Burial will be at Maple Hill Cemetery. ( www.laughlinservice.com ) Memorial donations may be made to Central Presbyterian Church, Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes Denver, CO or St. Jude Hospital Memphis, TN. Praise the Lord!
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