Bryan, Nancy Black

Her Life Was Characterized By Acts Of Service

  • Thursday, December 7, 2023
Nancy Black Bryan
Nancy Black Bryan

Nancy Black Bryan, 95, of Lookout Mountain, passed away on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, surrounded by her family.

Nancy was born in Portland, Or., and attended Catlin High school, Bennett Junior College, and The University of Colorado.

She is survived by her children, Mimi Kyle (Kendall), William Bryan (Linda), Sarah Robbins (Westphal); her grandchildren: Ashley Carlson, Henry Robbins, George Robbins, and her great grandchildren: Ellis Carlson and Parker Carlson.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Henry Thomas Bryan, III and her brother, Harvey Nicol Black.

Bennett College in Millbrook, New York was a finishing school. Nancy’s father chose it because he did not believe she should work outside the home. Wanting more of a challenge in life, she transferred mid-year to University of Colorado at Boulder. Not telling her father of her change of plans until the end of her Christmas break, is one of many examples of her spit-fire ways!

After a three-month tour of Europe with two girlfriends and countless shenanigans, Nancy moved to New York City and worked as a travel agent. She was set up on a blind date by her future sister in law’s mother, and her whirlwind romance to Henry Bryan, III began. Henry traveled to New York on business and after three dates, Henry asked Nancy to travel to Lookout Mountain to meet the family. Nancy refused unless escorted, so Henry’s father went to New York to escort Nancy to her future home. They were engaged shortly thereafter and were married 50 years.

Her life was characterized by acts of service. Some of her service included: Junior League of Portland, Junior League of Chattanooga, Docent at the Hunter Art Museum, and as Editor of the Mountain Breeze. We ate dinner by candlelight every night, and it was a special treat to eat on TV trays when the dining room table was covered in the magazine’s layout! Some of her most amusing stories were told of European travels and as a “Brockette” on Senator Bill Brock’s campaign as well as her travels on the Conservation Committee of the Garden Club of Lookout Mountain. She served as president, and was a member for 45 years. She enjoyed playing bridge and tennis, and all things horses!

Her steadfast love of horses can be traced to her family’s Nicol Riding Academy. She started riding when she was 4, and bought her first horse for her first grandchild in 1990. She showed 5-gaited saddlebreds while Henry drove a sulkie cart. They showed together all over the Southeast, enjoying their shared love of horses. Her fondest accomplishment is showing multiple times at the State Fair in Louisville, KY. Falling off getting ON a horse and breaking her arm at age 85 did not slow her down. In her last riding years, she would enter the ring with her white hair neatly tucked into her top hat, and receive a standing ovation for her dedication and persistence to the sport.

Though her final years were spent nestled at Alexian Village on “that other mountain,” she continued to read the Chattanooga Times Free Press paper and the Wall Street Journal. She followed financial trends, and was always sure to take care of her precious nurses at Alexian. She will be remembered for her spunky personality, unparalleled independence, fierce loyalty, generosity, and love of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Family will receive friends on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at The Church of the Good Shepherd, Lookout Mountain from 3-4 p.m. with an interment of the ashes immediately following.

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Arrangements are by Wann Funeral & Cremation Center, at the foot of historic Lookout Mountain, St. Elmo, 423 821-7551.

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