Janet McNeil Kelly Bryan of Charlotte, formerly of Dunn, NC, died on March 5, 2015 at the age of 91. She was the wife of Robert Cavenaugh Bryan, also of Charlotte. She and her husband moved to Charlotte in 2008 to be near their children.
Janet was born in Erwin, NC, on August 25, 1923, to Anna Roberta Davis and Richard Sterling Kelly. After attending Erwin schools during her youth, she attended St. Mary’s Junior College in Raleigh and graduated from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC in 1944. After college, she was employed as a bookkeeper for Good Hope Hospital in Erwin for several years.
Janet married Robert Bryan of Dunn, NC in 1947, upon his graduation from the US Naval Academy. The couple spent their first six years of marriage at various locations while he served in the US Navy. After he resigned from the Navy, they moved to Chapel Hill, NC, where Bob attended law school. They moved to Dunn in 1955, where they lived until 2008.
Janet was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Dunn for 53 years. She served the church as a deacon and elder, and was a choir member for many years. She was president of the Women of the Church for several terms and, for her service, was awarded a life membership in that group in 1993. Additionally, she served as chairperson of the church’s Meals on Wheels program for many years and was a member of the Presbytery Women’s Board.
Janet also served on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Museum of History Associates and the Museum of the Cape Fear and was a member of the Colonial Dames of America, all of which reflected her deep love of history and genealogy. Together with her husband, she spent many years researching and writing a family genealogical history, and co-authored four books on family history. She was also a member of the Dunn Cotillion Club as well as other business and social organizations.
Janet’s greatest joy in life was her family, for whom she always showed the most incredible love and dedication. “Jana” gave unselfishly to her children and grandchildren – and she will always be remembered for making each of them feel as if they were the center of her universe. The sense of family that remains not only with her children, but also with her many nieces, nephews and “congenial cousins” is a testament to her life.
In addition to her parents, she is predeceased by a brother, Dr. Richard Sterling Kelly, Jr., and his wife Rosalie of Fayetteville. She is survived by her husband of 67 years and her three children: Sterling Bryan Taylor and husband Bill of Washington, NC; Susan Bryan Daniel and husband John of Charlotte; and Robert Kedar Bryan and wife Flo of Charlotte.
She is survived by nine grandchildren: William Frederick Taylor III and wife Ashley of Raleigh; Janet Sterling Taylor of Auburn, AL; Anne Spottswood Hudson and husband Ben of New Bern; Shepard Daniel O’Connell and husband Brendon of San Francisco; Louisa Bowen Daniel of San Francisco; Robert Cavenaugh Daniel of Denver, CO: Florence Carnét Bryan of New Orleans; and Robert Kedar Bryan IV, and Mary McAllister Bryan of Charlotte. Janet also leaves three great-grandchildren, Elizabeth Hunt Taylor, William Wyatt Taylor and Lucy McNeil Hudson. She is survived by a brother, Robert Harris Kelly and his wife, Peggy, of Erwin, and a brother- and sister-in-law, Joseph Shepard Bryan, Jr. and wife Mary Ann of Jacksonville, Florida.
The family extends its sincerest and heartfelt gratitude to Janet’s loving and compassionate caregivers at the Stewart Center of the Cypress in Charlotte.
A memorial service to celebrate Janet’s life will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, March 9, at the First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte. A reception will follow the service in the Fellowship Hall. A private interment will be held in Dunn, NC, at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Dunn, Support and Endowment Fund, 901 North Park Ave. Dunn, NC 28334 or the charity of your choice. Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral Director Licensee.