Friends remember the life, legacy of George Bryan

GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Longtime businessman and Clay County entrepreneur George Bryan has died at the age of 78. He was part of a family legacy of business and community service.

George Bryan will be remembered by many people as the president of Bryan Foods and CEO of Sara Lee Foods. But those who knew him said he was more. He was described as a soft-spoken giant by those around him.

West Point native George Bryan was active in many area organizations, charities, and economic development, but what longtime friend Jeffery Rupp remembers he would say is the most important thing.

“You have to remember how much of a family man Mr. Bryan was and how important family was to him. You saw that in everything he did,” Rupp said.

Rupp said Bryan was a man with many accomplishments, yet he made time to invest in the future.

“I remember him coming to Mississippi State and talking to our entrepreneurs, but after that, he wanted to get in a room with 6 or 8 of them and listened to each one of their stories and took notes, follow-up and connected them with a mentor,” Rupp said.

One of Bryans’ notable accomplishments was building the Old Waverly Golf Course, which hosted the 1999 U.S. Women’s Open.

“Mr.Bryan has worked so hard to bring a championship-quality golf course to this area, and eventually, he went out and found some folks that were willing to invest in his dreams and the impact Old Waverly has had on the Golden Triangle and the entire state has been tremendous,” Rupp said.

And Business Associate Zach Tate believes that Bryan changed the culture of Golf in the south forever

“The legacy he built as far as just setting the bar high, I think that sometimes, we think sometimes Mississippi golf is what it is, Mr. Bryan kind of show us that the golf can be more here in Mississippi,” Tate said.

Bryan is survived by his wife Marcia, his daughters Laura, Nancy, and Suzanne, and his son Wilkes. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.

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